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Fareed Zakaria GPS
Interview with Benjamin Netanyahu. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 28, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:10] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria, coming to you live from New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA (voice-over): On today's show, Donald Trump meets Davos. The America First president was in snowy Switzerland this week meeting the globalists he loves to deride.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism.
ZAKARIA: Why did he go?
TRUMP: I believe in America.
ZAKARIA: What did he say?
TRUMP: America First does not mean America alone.
ZAKARIA: What might he have learned? We'll discuss it all with a terrific panel.
And an exclusive interview with Benjamin Netanyahu on President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Did that announcement dash any remaining hopes of a two-state solution or did it strengthen those hopes?
Finally, move over Davos men, Davos woman is now running the show. The co-chairs of the World Economic Forum were all women.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: Even without testosterone we can actually produce positive constructive energy.
ZAKARIA: But is there parody of the sexes? I'll give you facts and figures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But first, here is my take. Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, I've said when he did something right, I'd say so. That's gotten me into trouble with some viewers but I'm going to do it again. On Friday, at the World Economic Forum, Trump gave a good speech that was forthright, intelligence and conciliatory, embracing the world rather than condemning it. If the speech represents a new approach for the president, it will be a huge step forward. But of course, the problem with Trump is by tomorrow morning he might veer off in an entirely different direction.
The Trump presidency so far is composed of three parts. Trump One is the circus, the tweets, the outlandish claims, the reality TV-like show. Trump Two is the dark populism and the demagogic assaults on minorities, the press, the judiciary and other institutions. Trump Three is the conventional Republican president following a very standard GOP agenda, tax cuts, deregulation, the hawkish foreign policy guided by mainstream advisors, like Gary Cohn and Jim Mattis. We could be entertained by the circus, we should be appalled by the demagogue, but we have to be encouraged by Trump the Republican. That's not because I agree with the ideas he's put forth in the agenda. I continue to think the tax cut is fiscally irresponsible, blowing a huge hole in the deficit that will starve public investment and effectively transfer government funds from the poor to the rich. On the other hand, his deregulatory push could be an important reform of an administrative state that has grown burdensome and overly complex.
Trump's policies and his cheerleading rhetoric have, without question, boosted business confidence, which as Larry Summers has often noted is the cheapest form of economic stimulus.
But whatever you think of the policies, the larger point is that Trump the conventional Republican is working within the American system, rather than trying to destroy it. It's possible that the weight of the presidency and challenges of the job pushed Trump towards a more sobering responsible path. It's also possible that Trump simply decided for now, for one day, decide with his moderate advisors.
He often seems to be an unstable compound of Trump's one, two and three on a single day, tweeting out juvenile absurdities and lashing out, but also promoting some sensible policy. Even at Davos, he couldn't stop himself from attacking the news media and repeatedly making false or misleading claims.
The mood this year among the global elite at Davos was upbeat. The world is experiencing synchronic global growth, something very rare. But underneath this good cheer, there's disquiet. Partly because people remember their optimism just before the global recession hit. But there's also unease. But also, while global economics looks reasonably stable, global politics is in turmoil. The old-world order created and led by the United States is eroding and the new great powers that are entering this stage are mostly illiberal and narrow minded. What will the world look like when China, Russia, Turkey and India, among others, have much more weight in global affairs?
[10:05:00] In that context, the role, capacity and intentions of the United States and its president become central. If the American president in these times seems uncommitted to the international system, hostile to the world, indifferent to democratic values and mercurial in temper, that's especially dangerous today. So when Trump behaves better, as he did on Friday, everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
I don't seek to normalize Donald Trump, but I do believe that, given the stakes, America and the world are better off for these moments when he behaves more like a normal president.
For more, go to CNN.com/Fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week.
And let's get started.
You just heard my take. Let's see what my powerhouse panel thinks of Donald Trump's Davos debut. In London, Zanny Minton Beddoes joins us, the editor-in-chief of "The Economist." The magazine's new edition is all about "The Next War, The Growing Threat of Major Conflict in Today's World." Rana Foroohar is in Rome today. She's a global business columnist for the "FT" and CNN's global economic analyst. And with me here in New York is Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group.
Zanny, let me ask you, you were at Davos. I saw you there. The mood was buoyant because of the growth. Do the leaders deserve the credit for this synchronist global growth? Are they right?
ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: Well, collectively, they do deserve some credit. I'm not sure Donald Trump deserves quite as much credit as he was taking. But, yes, the global economy is absolutely buoyant and it's going to grow at a very strong level, very synchronized. And I think as a result, there is in the short term quite a lot of sense of euphoria. But underneath that, I think there are some deep concerns. You highlighted some of them. But people breathed a sigh of relief that Donald Trump there was Trump on best behavior, Trump with the Teleprompter, and that reinforced the sense of relief and optimism and even euphoria that you had.
ZAKARIA: Rana, the best line I know about Davos I think Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, who says, "Davos is where billionaires tell millionaires how the middle class feels." The billionaires and millionaires were very happy. But will it translate?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: I can't think of a way to put it better.
ZAKARIA: Will it translate to the middle class?
FOROOHAR: You know, I think -- no, I have to agree with Jamie Dimon on this. I think Davos is a counter indicator for how most of the population is feeling. It's true, CEOs were buoyant. And I spoke to many. They are excited about the Trump tax cuts. More than his speech, they were looking at what's been done so far. The tax cuts and deregulation in the U.S.
My concern is really this is a short-term fix and a Band-Aid. That tax cut didn't have a quid pro quo for the kind of real Main Street investment that we all want to see, infrastructure, long-term fixes to education, real CapEx spending. The spending that I'm hearing that is going to be done by business is either happening in sectors not as labor intensive. The technology sector will do a lot, but they don't employ a lot of people. A lot of it will go into share buybacks. Again, that will bolster the wealth of the top 20 percent but that won't do a lot for the lower 80.
ZAKARIA: Ian Bremmer, you tweeted that this is not just this speech but the last couple of speeches that Trump has given on foreign policy, he's been remarkably sensible, which means he's actually stuck to the script in the Teleprompter.
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: There's no question Teleprompter Trump is better and more acceptable international than Twitter Trump. The problem is that Twitter Trump is who Trump really is. When you get him off of reading other peoples' words, you then have a problem. If he could get out of his own way -- Christine Lagarde opened Davos this year saying not only is the economy doing better than any point in the last 10 years, but Trump's tax bill is a piece of the reason for that. If he could sit back and let the economy do its work and let his many competent advisors work, it would be fine. The big news this week is Trump tried to fire Mueller and he was being retrained. Continually Trump is his worst enemy.
ZAKARIA: It's all very fascinating.
Zanny, very quickly, do you think when you listen to all this what was going on at Davos, do you think that they were giving Trump credit? In other words, particularly European CEOs, whom you know very well, they are not very -- they are hostile to Trump, openly hostile. Did they change their minds?
[10:09:55] MINTON BEDDOES: They are openly hostile to many of the things Trump does, but delighted the fact their share prices are soaring, and the American economy is booming. And I was struck by the degree to which European CEOs were very happy to say the tax cut was great for them, too. I think CEOs are as quick to turn their tune as anybody else. And I thought there was a remarkably quick shift in opinion there. I agree with Rana that much of it is not justified and, hopefully, we can get on to that. The mood there was remarkably upbeat.
We're going to come back and talk about something else, which is, other than Trump and geopolitics, there was a big story in Davos worth hearing about. Rana Foroohar will explain when we come back, as will all the others.
[10:15:00] ZAKARIA: And we are back with "The Economist's" Zanny Minton Beddoes in London. We have "F.T.'s" Rana Foroohar in Rome, and Ian Bremmer here in New York.
Rana, you point out that if you look at the number of sessions, and much of the talk at Davos this year, it was about something else that people are actually very worried about. Explain.
FOROOHAR: Absolutely. A.I., big data, the digital revolution was the hot topic. And what is interesting to me, it's been that way many years at Davos but this year you got the sense it was going way beyond the tech sector itself and going to every kind of business model. I spoke to an insurance executive, for example, that told me sensors in cars and homes would enable his industry to write personalized policies. That's also going to result in some kind of a digital underclass. We've seen workers being left behind by technology. We may see people that can't be insured or get health care policies.
What is concerning is that the state will be, of course, left to pick up the pieces, but the state, as you've talked about in your column, and I'm talking about in my column in "F.T." tomorrow, is it's very weak right now. Politics are polarized. Western liberal democratic states are being asked to do more than they can't. What is interesting is more authoritarian states, like China, may actually be better positioned in the short term to manage this disruption. But that also raises the specter of sort of an authoritarian technologically adept state that is wrecking privacy. So lots of big political issues.
ZAKARIA: Zanny, my sense is the tech companies at Davos, who are usually the stars of the show, are also aware that this new sense that technology is, first of all, causing a lot of job losses, might be creating these monopolies, is ushering in a new wave of feelings about how to handle technology and big tech.
MINTON BEDDOES: I think that's absolutely right. Rana is completely right. There were lots of sessions on A.I. and how it will change jobs and lose jobs. That's been a subject for some years at Davos. For me, the two new elements of tech were that there was a really powerful sense of a tech-lash, a political backlash against the big tech companies. The Googles, Facebooks are no longer the great shining lights of western capitalism. They are too big, too concentrated. And all kinds of people are worried about that.
And the second element, also slightly more worrying, is the number of people that said to me China is ahead of us in A.I. and we have a real problem. The sense of A.I. as something as part of a geopolitical rift between -- or struggle for supremacy between China and the U.S.
ZAKARIA: Ian, so there's always that undercurrent at Davos, as well. Is China gaining ground? Is the United States losing out in the key sectors? Again, on the surface, the American boom makes that seem not true, but what's your sense?
BREMMER: Chinese growth is adding a hell of a lot more to the global economy than American growth is at this point, and that continues to be the case every year. Also, Chinese technology, driven by the state, as opposed to the United States. Trump is talking about manufacturing jobs. He's talking about coal. He's not talking about investing in A.I. That's a sector the Chinese want to dominate. I think both of those really worry the Davos group, especially because the two dominant forces in A.I. in the world today are ideologically opposed to the multilateral developmental approach of Davos. You've got the Libertarians in Silicon Valley and you have the authoritarian state capitals of Beijing. That unnerves the folks in a really big way.
ZAKARIA: Rana, do you sense, as a result of all of this, you're going to have a Chinese-American clash?
FOROOHAR: I think you are. I think you're going to have a splinter net really. You already see China going in a different direction than not only the U.S. but Europe in terms of how they are thinking about the Internet and regulating the Internet. Very tight ties between the state and tech firms there. An unlimited ability to collect data. I spoke to several western data scientists that were sort of envious about how easy it is to collect data, which is, of course, the basis of A.I., in China, even as they were worried about the authoritarian impact of all that data collection. So it is a very disruptive time to say the least.
ZAKARIA: And, Zanny, let me ask you, and this is television and we have a minute. Quickly, tell me why you chose to highlight the danger of not just conflict but actually of war in "The Economist" this week?
MINTON BEDDOES: Two reasons. We think there's a growing risk of great power conflict. One is an immediate risk, North Korea. We have a terrific piece that shows the risk of a preventive attack by the United States is probably much greater than many people think. And secondly, all the things we've been talking about, a rising China, taking its place in the world, plus technological changes in the nature of warfare, we think makes the risk much greater than many people realize.
[10:20:06] ZAKARIA: It's a terrific cover story. You should all read it.
Thank you all. Fascinating panel.
When we come back, my exclusive interview from Davos with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I'll ask him about the Iran deal, the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, and about his own corruption scandal.
ZAKARIA: Welcome back to GPS. I'm Fareed Zakaria, coming to you now from Davos, the small Swiss ski town that, for the last week, was home to the World Economic Forum. Donald Trump's appearance here grabbed the biggest headlines by far. But his fellow world leaders were out in full force.
On Thursday, I interviewed Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu onstage at the forum.
It was almost two months ago that President Trump announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capitol, and that he hoped to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv. Shortly thereafter, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn America's decision. But this week, the administration doubled down. Vice President Pence speaking at Israel's Knesset on Monday set a date saying the new embassy will open before 2019 is out. What does it all mean for peace?
Here is my interview with the prime minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:25:20] ZAKARIA: Prime Minister, pleasure to have you.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRALI PRIME MINISTER: It's good to be with you again.
ZAKARIA: President Trump did something that I'm sure you've wanted an American president to do for a long time, which is announce that the United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And the Arab leaders whom I talked to, who are not unsympathetic to Israel at this point, say, look, the reason we're opposed to this, this should be part of a final deal. The status of Jerusalem should not be decided arbitrarily and unilaterally. We want this solved but in a way that helps produce some kind of a permanent settlement. Do you understand that point that people make?
NETANYAHU: I understand that they say it, but I think they are wrong. Let me tell you why. Where is my office, the prime minister's office? In Jerusalem? Right next to us is the Knesset, our parliament. Where is that? In Jerusalem. Right next to that is the Supreme Court, the only real only independent Supreme Court in a very large radius in our turbulent region. Where is that? In Jerusalem? The seat of government is in Jerusalem. This has been the case for the 70 years of Israel's existence that we're celebrating ow. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since the time of King David. That's only 3,000 years ago. So President Trump made history by recognizing history, recognizing these indelible facts of the past and the present. And under any peace agreement, you know that the capital of Israel will continue to Jerusalem. And the seat of our government will continue to be in Jerusalem.
I think, on the contrary, he did a great service for peace because peace can only be based on truth, on reality. And denying the simple fact Israel's capital is Jerusalem is -- pushes peace backward by creating an illusion, fantasy. You can't build peace on fantasy.
ZAKARIA: But about --
NETANYAHU: It's a vision but it has to be grounded in reality.
ZAKARIA: A number of Palestinians reacted to the Trump administration's decision by saying it appears that Benjamin Netanyahu is essentially signaling the end of the two-state solution, we should now move to a one-state solution. What we now asked for, since we will never have our own state with our own capital, what we ask for is political rights since we live under Israeli sovereignty. Mubarak (ph) said that. Hamad Nashrali (ph) said that. Is that a possible consequence of this, that the Palestinians will move to asking for a one-state solution?
NETANYAHU: I think it's a complete distortion. I don't think they really mean it. I think they want to govern themselves, which I don't have any problem with that.
I'll tell you what my position is. It's a simple one. I haven't changed it, by the way. From the day I gave the speech, the principles have always been the same. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves, but none of the powers to threaten us, which means that, in any political arrangement, Israel must retain the overriding security control in the tiny area west of the Jordan, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, because, otherwise, you'll have Daesh, ISIS come in, Hamas come in, which means Iran, and that's the end of peace. That's the end of the Palestinian Authorities. That's the end -- it could a perceptible, a powerful threat to the survival of Israel. So I never mince words about that. Israel will retain the overriding security control. But other than that, the Palestinians will be free to govern themselves. I don't think there's a problem with that. People say, yes, but if they don't have control over the military and security of things, that's not real sovereignty. You can't have another country retain the military forces, you know, a former enemy. How could that happen? Well, how about American forces in Germany, almost 80 years after the fact, or in --
NETANYAHU: -- Japan and so on.
We live in a complex world. We have a mosaic of failed states in the Middle East. We don't want to create another failed state. And the key fundament of stability and of success and of peace is security. Israel will maintain that security for our benefit but also for the benefit of the Palestinians.
ZAKARIA: You know there are a number of people that say the problem with no progress on this issue is that, over time, you will have a vast number of Palestinians who live under Israeli sovereignty and, in that circumstance, Israel will not be able to be Jewish and democratic, that in other words, it will lose its democratic character because it will be ruling over a large group of people without giving them rights, or it will lose its Jewish character because of the number of Palestinians will overwhelm the number of Israeli Jews.
ZAKARIA: Do you -- do you buy that trade-off?
NETANYAHU: I think there is a third option. I don't think we necessarily -- I don't want to annex the Palestinians as citizens of Israel, and I don't want to have them as our subjects. They can live in their own sphere, govern themselves with their own powers, their own parliament, their own flag, their -- embassies, what have you, the whole trappings, except the powers that are needed that we need to retain in order to protect ourselves.
And this is not a gimmick. It's not a spin. It's real. This is the kind of arrangement that we have to...
ZAKARIA: But what country has ever done that?
You talk about Germany and Japan. Germany and Japan have -- have control over their military. They're not -- I mean, you're not -- if you were to give the Palestinians the deal the Germans got after World War II, the Palestinians would be happy. I mean, that's...
NETANYAHU: No, actually, they say, "We don't want any residual forces and residual military presence beyond, I don't know, two or three years." It's now going on 80 years that -- that the Americans are there.
ZAKARIA: But Germany had -- you know, Germany has full sovereignty in its -- in military and defense.
NETANYAHU: Well, I think that, when the Palestinians demonstrate that they can, you know, they can actually govern those territories and not have them taken over by Hamas or by ISIS, then come and ask me again.
ZAKARIA: Is Jared Kushner going to make peace in the Middle East?
NETANYAHU: If the Palestinians...
ZAKARIA: President Trump says that he -- that he has a chance of doing it.
NETANYAHU: Look, it's a very able team that the president has. They have many, many abilities. The thing that people don't realize is that these people have made their mark in the markets in real estate. Now, this is not only a real estate deal; it's fundamentally not a real estate deal but a problem of recognizing Israel's existence, the problem of not recognizing a Jewish state in any boundary. But it also has its real estate elements. And they're, I have to say, very creative, you know, and I wait to see what they'll put down, but I don't rule it out. Because I think we need peace. I think the Palestinians need peace.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," Iran. President Trump has said he has waived sanctions against that nation for the last time unless European allies get tougher on Iran. Has Obama's nuclear deal reached the beginning of its end? I'll ask Prime Minister Netanyahu when we come back.
ZAKARIA: The president said something quite dramatic recently, that he was not going to renew the waiver of sanctions on Iran, which means that, at some point, it is quite possible that the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the Iran deal. Then Iran would have the option, presumably, of beginning to enrich uranium again, go down a path, a nuclear path, again.
Isn't that a bad outcome for Israel?
NETANYAHU: No. I think that the present deal is so deeply flawed that it guarantees that Iran will have what it needs to make nuclear weapons, including enrichment of fissile material, on a vast scale. This is what is problematic with the deal. It just gives them a timeline and it says, within X years, eight years, whatever, from now...
ZAKARIA: But wouldn't it be better for you to have heard it be 15 years from now than next month?
NETANYAHU: No, because what they can do today is at best enrich uranium for one weapon. Under the deal, they will be able to enrich uranium for 100, 200 bombs, and that's...
ZAKARIA: Fifteen years from now?
NETANYAHU: Maybe eight or 10. And they could break out, "let's rush create a nuclear -- an arsenal of nuclear weapons," unimpeded by any international agreement. In fact, the agreement lets them do it.
So this is why the deal is so bad, because it gives Iran, the preeminent terrorist state of our time, the wherewithal to produce nuclear weapons, nuclear bombs. They could give it to proxies, terrorists; they could use it themselves. That's where we don't want to get to.
So I don't particularly care if they fix the deal or if they cancel the deal, keep it or nix it. The important part for me is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear arsenal, because Iran not only spreads terror worldwide; Iran openly says that it's going to use those weapons and use every weapon they have to annihilate Israel. We're not going to let that happen.
ZAKARIA: When you talk to European leaders, certainly when I've talked to European leaders, and certainly their public statements, they say they support the deal; they do not see any reason to amend it. They believe Iran is in compliance with the deal and they think it produces stability.
So when you talk to them and say "Fix the deal," do they tell you, "Yes, we're going to fix the deal," or do they say what they're saying publicly, which is, "The deal is good; there's no -- there's nothing to -- no fixing needs to be done?"
NETANYAHU: Well, I'll tell you what I tell them, you know...
ZAKARIA: What I'm hoping is you'll tell me what they tell you privately.
NETANYAHU: Well, I'm sure you do. But I can say that the fact that they signed a bad deal doesn't mean that they have to keep a bad deal. In history, when you've had instances of nations signing very bad deals and living, if they manage to live, to regret it -- there was such a deal, by the way, most recently with North Korea. They had a deal. Everybody said, "That's it, you know, the North Koreans will keep the deal and it will prevent North Korea from having nuclear weapons; they will join the community of nations." So much for that.
ZAKARIA: But wouldn't we all...
NETANYAHU: They signed a deal.
ZAKARIA: Wouldn't we wish for a deal, given that there are inspectors in Iran; given that it's much more difficult to -- are you comfortable with an Iran that -- where there's no deal and it can do whatever it wants to...
NETANYAHU: I don't think -- I don't think it can do everything. First of all, the inspections are -- are deeply flawed because Iran says you cannot inspect military sites. So if you're the Iranian regime, where do you think you're going to do your weaponization? Where do you think you're going to do the other elements of a secret nuclear program? In military sites. But they say you can't inspect it. This is one example of how flawed this deal is.
Secondly, look, Iran doesn't rush forward to make nuclear weapons because they can suffer crippling sanctions. That brought them to --- to their senses last time, a number of times. Second, they also might think, correctly, that if they try to rush for a bomb, there will be countries that would prevent them. I don't want to speak in the name of another country, but I guarantee you I speak in my name; we will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon.
ZAKARIA: When you look at the Middle East -- you and I have talked about this before -- it seems as though...
NETANYAHU: And, by the way, the Arab states -- again, unnamed -- the Arab states, unnamed, agree with me.
ZAKARIA: So we are just about to name them.
It seems as though...
NETANYAHU: You want to name the unnamed states?
NETANYAHU: Go ahead, name the unnamed states.
ZAKARIA: It seems as though Israel is today in a closer strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt than at any point in its history, and that at this point, that is the defining feature of the Middle East, a kind of anti-Iran alliance in which Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel are the crucial players. Would you agree?
NETANYAHU: I'd agree that there is an alignment of Israel and other countries in the Middle East that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. And certainly, in my lifetime, I never saw anything like it, and I'm at the age of the state of Israel, more or less, so it's an extraordinary thing.
Yes, it starts with a common concern with a common enemy, which is radical Islam, either of the radical Sunnis, Daesh, before that Al Qaida, which Israel fights, and has prevented, by the way, dozens of terrorist, major terrorist attacks not only in the Middle East but throughout the world and saved the lives of many, many citizens, because our intel is second to none, and also our common stance against Iran.
That's one source. What is not recognized is that there is another source of this closeness and it's their desire to make use of the civilian technology that Israel has, in water or in agriculture, or in I.T. and other areas to better the lives -- health -- to better the lives of their citizens. I view that as a great promise for peace. I think it's changing attitudes not only on the level of the regimes. We poll the Arab world; we see the beginning of changes, significant change in the attitude towards Israel in the Arab publics -- not all of them, and not yet majorities, but significant minorities. That's hope. That's a future of peace.
ZAKARIA: Up next, I'll ask Prime Minister Netanyahu about himself, specifically the criminal probes that are swirling around him and his associates. He has already been questioned numerous times by Israeli authorities. What happens next?
ZAKARIA: "There will be nothing because there is nothing." That's a quote not from Donald Trump about the Russia investigation but from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It's become a mantra of sorts for him when he's asked to comment on the investigations swirling around him.
The Israeli police named Netanyahu a suspect in two cases involving bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He's been interviewed multiple times by authorities and his former chief of staff agreed last summer to testify against Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Here, again, Benjamin Netanyahu.
ZAKARIA: Mr. Prime Minister, you -- you will understand I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask this question. It's about your own political future. You face in Israel serious investigations. How should the world see this? Should the world look at this and say, "This is Israeli democracy at work, where no one is above the law, above scrutiny, above investigation, or do you regard this as a political witch hunt?"
NETANYAHU: Well, no one is above the law in Israel, and that's the case in this case, too. But I'm also confident that nothing will come of it because there's nothing to come out. So I think that it's just a question of time. And next year -- yeah, invite me next year; we'll do it once a year...
... and you'll see if I'm proven right. You'll see that I am.
ZAKARIA: Finally, you just came back from a trip to India.
ZAKARIA: Tell us what is it that all these countries that you have now been going to that are deepening their ties with Israel -- what is it that they are trying to get from Israel?
NETANYAHU: Two things: they want security, protection against terrorism. And Israel is second to none in providing this valuable intelligence that has also prevented, for example, planes from being blown out in the sky. That's not only a problem for the country that suffers that tragedy but for all international civil aviation. Israel has been the leading force to protect the lives and the -- the critical facilities of many, many states. That's the first thing. Everybody wants that. Because the firmaments of -- the sparks of radical Islam are flying into every continent and to every country.
The second thing that they want is the future. It's not only to push back the bad; it's to seize the good. We're in a world of tremendous change. I mean, you've been talking about it. It's basically the confluence of big data, artificial intelligence and connectivity that's changing industries. Israel has a car industry within a matter of years. We make -- 85 percent of the value of a car is soon going to be software. And all the other stuff, you know, the body, the chassis, the tires, the engine, that's minuscule. So essentially cars are computers on wheels. Now we have a car industry, because there we compete.
So an Israeli company, right next to my office in Jerusalem, has just been sold to Intel for $15 billion for autonomous vehicle technology. This technology is produced in Israel, but Israel is also not only an I.T. power; it's a water -- water power.
NETANYAHU: No, not only that; we -- we recycle almost 90 percent of our waste water. The runner-up is Spain with about 20 percent, just to understand. So if you're a country that needs water and you can recycle your waste water, you come to Israel. So this is -- this is a revolution. Israel, you know, we're working to build up the life of the Jewish state and afford us a future of prosperity and progress and peace.
ZAKARIA: Next week on "GPS," don't miss my interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan, here in Davos. Mark your calendars. Next up, today on "GPS," many years ago the political scientist Samuel
Huntington coined the term "Davos man" to describe the average attendee at the World Economic Forum here in Davos. But in this era of further female empowerment, is "Davos man" making way for "Davos woman?" This year the seven co-chairs of the meeting were all women. Was it just window dressing? When we come back.
ZAKARIA: My book of the week is Christopher Hayes' "Twilight of the Elites." I happened to bring Hayes' brilliant book along with me to read while milling around the World Economic Forum with Davos men and Davos women. It's a highly intelligent and even profound reflection on the problems with our current system of meritocracy that has so divided almost all our societies.
And now, the last look from here in Davos, where there is some history being made.
(UNKNOWN): It's fascinating to see...
ZAKARIA (voice over): All seven of the gathering's co-chairs this year are women. They're top leaders in business, finance, science and social entrepreneurship.
(UNKNOWN): You have to talk about prosperity.
ZAKARIA: All seven co-chairs gathered on stage at an opening session, and one of them, the IMF's managing director, Christine Lagarde, quipped that something was out of the ordinary.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: But it's a bit of a change from the "manels" panels...
... that have been had on occasions.
ZAKARIA: But progress in gender at the top of Davos doesn't fully trickle down to the ranks of attendees. The World Economic Forum itself admits 21 percent of this year's 3,000 participants are women. While that's an improvement over past years, several female attendees voiced their frustration at the lopsided gender balance in these halls.
The WEF's gender gap report is an annual publication that charts the progress of more than 100 countries toward gender equality. The most recent report for 2017 notes that the global gender gap has overall widened for the first time since they started measuring more than a decade ago.
The report also suggests that, based on current data, it will be 100 years before most countries have closed their overall gender gaps and 217 years to close the economic gap, including workforce precipitation and salary between men and women.
Where did the United States fall on the 2017 gender gap? Well, it is in 49th place in the survey, its worst ranking in the history of the survey. Number one on the current rankings is Iceland, which recently passed legislation forcing companies to prove that any wage difference between employees is not due to gender. And on the survey's political empowerment subindex, which measures the gap between men and women at the highest levels of political decision-making, the U.S. was in the lower half of the pack, coming in at 96, between Pakistan and Vietnam.
Now, don't forget we have just launched the "GPS" challenge online. Every Sunday we'll post on our website 10 questions that will challenge your knowledge of the world. See how well you do. Go to cnn.com/fareedquiz and try your hand.
And thanks to all of you for being part of this program. I will see you next week.