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Fareed Zakaria GPS

Interview With Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown; Strange Bedfellows Unite To Oust Benjamin Netanyahu; Ezra Klein: We Need A "Moonshot For Meatless Meat." Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 06, 2021 - 10:00   ET



FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): Today on the show, a tour of the world with the former British prime minister Gordon Brown. We'll talk about the G-7 meeting in his nation. The Biden presidency, Russia, China and more.

GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The governments have to got to be far more aware of the variety and the range of risks that they now face.

ZAKARIA: And, as Israel's Netanyahu era seems to be coming to a close for now, we'll take a look at what his leadership has meant for Israel, the Palestinians, the region and the world. I have two distinguished commentators from Israel to discuss.

Also the summer season has officially begun and that means hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken barbecues. Ezra Klein tells us all we ought to think twice before eating meat for ourselves and for the sake of the planet, and he has a solution.


ZAKARIA: But first, here is "My Take."

In 2017, a former Goldman Sachs banker launched a dating app called Hater designed to match people according to their shared dislikes. It didn't last long.

That doesn't bode well for the coalition that is set to form a new Israeli government since it seems unified by little more than a shared hatred for Bibi Netanyahu. It's surely the strangest coalition in modern political history comprising parties to the right of Netanyahu, the center and the left, and even for the first time one representing Israeli Arabs.

Could such a motley crew stay together?

Actually, it is possible. In fact the parties have been brought together by more than just a personal dislike of Bibi. They appear to have been genuinely concerned about his alleged abuses of power and the degradation of Israel democracy under his watch. Remember, Netanyahu is under indictment for three cases of corruption, prosecuted by his own handpicked attorney general.

Elements of the right in Israel that had long been allied with Bibi broke with him because they're worried about where he was taking Israeli democracy. But that doesn't mean they're likely to break with most of his policies. The left in the coalition is just not strong enough and overall the latest elections actually increase the strength of the far right. Religious fundamentalists and settlers are now more strongly represented in the Knesset than ever before.

There is a parallel here with the 2020 elections in the United States. While they represented a repudiation of Donald Trump after a most president's win re-election, they did not represent a repudiation of Trumpism. The Republican Party now totally under the sway of Trumpian populism actually gained seats in the House of Representatives. Politico described the Democratic performance in state contests as abysmal.

Despite tens of millions of dollars liberals spent to flip the state legislatures in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Texas, those bodies remain firmly under GOP control. As a result Republicans have a lopsided advantage in redistricting which will help the party maintain power for the next decade.

Populists have governed badly almost everywhere that they are in power but their movements have not suffered resounding defeats. Italy has a new government led by the impressive technocrat Mario Draghi but he doesn't have a mandate from voters. Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, two anti-populist politicians who had seemed to be thriving, have both taken political beatings.

Trudeau's approval rating is down to 41 percent and his disapproval is at 55 percent. Polls in France show a tight race between Macron and the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the upcoming election.

Why is the populist right still so robust? It's important that the left seriously examine this question. Too many in it believe Donald Trump's election was a fluke, that he was a celebrity, he found ways to manipulate the media.


Some of that may be true. But how to explain the much bigger phenomenon? In fact, the forces that brought populism to the fore are broad and deep. They represent the new realities of politics, arise in the importance of cultural identity, opposition to immigration, discomfort with multiculturalism and social liberalism, and a deep class resentment toward educated elites.

Consider that many people in the United States and parts of Europe seem determined not to take a vaccine against a life-threatening disease because they just don't trust the medical and governmental elites in their societies. What is the best way to handle the populist right?

Probably Joe Biden's way. Reach out to work with them but don't let that stop you from pushing forward big programs that help people and show that you can accomplish big things. Hope that your actions will speak louder than their noisy words.

But Biden's greatest strength may be what he's not doing. He's not talking about Dr. Seuss books or the Golden Globes, he's genuinely steering clear of the many episodes in the culture wars.

He's taken a slow and moderate approach to immigration reform knowing that the issue could easily trigger a backlash. When Vox asked veteran Democratic strategist James Carville about Biden's first 100 days, Carville remarked that Biden's best quality was again something he wasn't. He was not into faculty lounge politics, Carville said, meaning framing issues and language that is alien and alienating to many.

"Large parts of the country view us as an urban, coastal, arrogant party, and a lot gets past through that filter. That's a real thing and it's damaging to the party brand."

The left is basking in its recent victories from America to Israel. But if they don't learn the correct lessons and overplay their hand, that success could prove very temporary.

Go to for a link to my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

I want to bring in now the former British prime minister Gordon Brown. He is the author of a new book, "Seven Ways to Change the World."


BROWN: And good to talk to you, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, to begin with, to think about the biggest difference between this crisis of the pandemic and the one that took place when you were prime minister of Great Britain, the '07, '08, '09 financial crisis. To me what is most markedly different is that time the world came together and really it was remarkable cooperation to deal with the financial crisis. This time, it has almost splintered the world. Why do you think that is?

BROWN: You know, when I was asked in 2008 and '09 what was the message from the world recession and people said, well, it's the economy, stupid, and I said, no, it's that global problems need global solutions. And what we've seen in the last 10 years unfortunately is the breakdown of international cooperation. First, we have this protective nationalism which was invoke controls, immigration controls, border controls, building walls and tariffs and everything else, and then we saw America first, China first, India first, Russia first.

We saw this my tried first, an aggressive nationalism that sought to blame other people for what was wrong. So if the first year of this COVID crisis, there's been very little international cooperation at the top. There has been great scientific cooperation, medical cooperation, but not political cooperation. And I think we're now entering the testing time. This week we'll see the G-7 meet. Soon we'll have the G-20. Then we'll have COP 26, the environmental conference.

Now all these events will test us. Is international cooperation going to be restored or are we still in this world where nationalism, protectionism and, to some extent, isolationism are dominating? And I think that's the key question that the leaders of the G-7 are going to have -- they're going to have to answer that this week.

ZAKARIA: Now a lot of people credit you with your leadership in that period of the global financial crisis. But I think it's fair to say that these leaders face a more difficult challenge because there is, as you say, a kind of wave of populism and nationalism that have begun. What would you do to -- you know what's going to happen if there is a perception that Joe Biden or Boris Johnson are sending vaccines abroad.


There are going to be people criticizing them and saying these should stay home. There is people saying we were too dependent on global supply chains. These supply chains need to be brought back home. How do you convince people that more global cooperation is in their best interest?

BROWN: I think we've got to start with the disease and with vaccination. We've got a world that is really divided between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. And to some extent the international organizations like the G-7 will be deciding who lives and is vaccinated and who dies and if they are denied vaccination. So only 2 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa has been vaccinated. Sixty percent of Britain and America.

And this divide cannot continue. And the reason that I think Boris Johnson and Joe Biden can make the case to the world for cooperation is that nobody is safe until everybody is safe. This is not over until it's over everywhere, and that's why if the disease is not contained and it spreads and it mutates, it will come back to haunt us all with a new variant or a new mutation. And that's why I think for these medical reasons, we've got to cooperate.

But there are also economic reasons. The world economy won't recover. The IMF said $9 trillion will be lost if we don't get the world back to work through vaccination and people feeling safe to go out and work, and start economic activity. So I think you've got to start with a victory over disease and we've got the science and we've got the medicine, but we haven't got the political will yet to vaccinate the rest of the world.

ZAKARIA: What do you see -- how long do you see this taking? I mean, are we talking about two years before we are kind of really back to normal international travel, international trade, supply chains restored?

BROWN: Yes, I think a lot of this depends on how quickly we vaccinate the world and how quickly we can contain the disease, and, you know, we're now talking about a Nepal variant as well as an Indian variant. And it's clear that the lack of cooperation over the last few months has made it possible for this disease to spread, and while we've had a vaccination for -- a vaccine for six months, it is not got to the poorest countries in the world. And so that's got to be done.

You know, when we were dealing with the financial recession in 2009 we were dealing with an economic problem that had to have an economic answer. This is an economic problem and a health problem, but the start of the answer is dealing with the health problem.

And I think it's still true now as it was a year ago that if we can't get the disease under complete control in all parts of the world then everybody will remain afraid. Until no one is afraid and that's really something that could last a long time if we don't vaccinate in 2021 and we've got to push it through to 2022 and maybe even later on that.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, Gordon Brown on how to tackle Russia and China.


BROWN: We've got to make it clear to Russia we cannot support the policies that they're embracing and I think it is clear that economic sanctions have to be considered and be extended if necessary if we're going to bring Russia to its senses.




ZAKARIA: And we are back with the former prime minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown, let me ask you about the country most people are weary of cooperating with these days, and that is China. You've seen increasing concern that the virus itself may have come out of an accidental leak from the lab in Wuhan, the cover-up from the Chinese government, the reluctance to allow real inquiries.

In that context, is it going to be possible to go forward? How should we deal with China?

BROWN: Well, you've written about this, Fareed. I wrote a book that's coming up next week, "Seven Ways to Change Our World," and one of the issues I'm looking at is how you can put China-U.S. cooperation on to a basis that avoids the risk that I feel is a real risk of having one world but two systems, so I think you've got to find those areas where we can cooperate and then you've got to admit there are areas where we can't cooperate.

But I think it's important on climate change, on the growth of the world economy, and on other issues which we could go through that there is some cooperation and we don't thwart the chance of getting progress on some issues even if there is a huge disagreement on many issues, and I think most people would take that view. I mean, I personally am concerned about human rights. I also am concerned about technology and what's happening to technology. Hong Kong is a difficult issue.

But I do think where we can cooperate, we've got to make an effort to cooperate because otherwise the breakdown in the world will be very big and we will end up with what I fear is a possibility, you have an IMF but you have an Asian Monetary Fund. You have a World Bank but you have an Asian World Bank. You have the dollar competing with the Chinese currency, and that's not really the basis in which the world should be trying to move forward.

ZAKARIA: What about the other great non-democracy on the world stage, Russia. President Biden has put more sanctions on it. Do you think that is appropriate? Do you think Nord Stream 2 should be canceled? Are we being tough enough I guess on Russia or are we being too tough?

BROWN: Well, I think two happened in the last 20 years. One, Russia was humiliated. We didn't come to the raid at the right moment, and then secondly Russia has taken this aggressive chauvinistic isolationist stand in relation to the West.


And of course we've seen it in the last week with what happened in Belarus with the support of Russia. You've got a dictator who has got no interest in democracy, who's trying to close down even open skies in trying to curtail press freedom. So we have got to speak out on these issues. We've got to make it clear to Russia we cannot support the policies that they are embracing and I think it is clear that economic sanctions have to be considered and be extended if necessary if we're going to bring Russia to its senses.

When I was prime minister on the streets of London, we had someone assassinated by the Russian secret police. And when this is happening on the streets of our democracies, we've got to speak out. And of course when it happened in Belarus, that we've got the arrest of a journalist for no other reason than he's an opposition spokesman, this is not acceptable and we've got to keep speaking out on these issues.

ZAKARIA: I noticed something when preparing for this interview, you 12 years ago as prime minister set up the first cybersecurity unit in Britain. I'm wondering, what do you think of the situation where in the director of the FBI is now talking about hundreds and hundreds of cyberattacks, about ransomware. It feels like we are entering a kind of new, I don't know, Wild West or age of piracy, perhaps fueled or assisted by the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that make these transactions possible.

How should we think about this? What should we do?

BROWN: Well, you know, I think of it as a huge contrast. We've still got the International Space Station up there with Russian astronauts and American astronauts working together. We've got this until 2025. And even in the depths of the Cold War, we seemed to find a basis in which we could cooperate when it really mattered, and so we ended the space race. Now we've got to take similar action to try to bring to head some of these issues about the cybersecurity of our countries.

What we did when I was in government is we were very aware that the number of risks that a country faced and the variety of these risks were widening. So pandemics was of course one of them that we were looking at at the time. But also cybersecurity. And I think governments have got to be far more aware of the variety and the range of risks that they now face and they've got to look and see if we can have some international negotiation.

You know, all these countries have got an interest in their own security as well as perhaps an interest that if it's not checked, in trying to invade other people's security, we've got to find a way that we can talk about these issues and get some of them at least sorted out and where possible to get international agreements to bring some of what's happening in cyber areas but also in space under control.

ZAKARIA: Should Bitcoin be regulated or banned?

BROWN: It's going to have to be regulated if it's going to survive. Look, central banks are on to this. The European Central Bank, the Fed, the Bank of England, obviously the Chinese Central Bank is looking at what it can do in this area but these are areas where you're going to have to have regulation.

ZAKARIA: Gordon Brown, always a pleasure to talk to you. Your book is "Seven Ways to Change the World." Terrific read as with everything of yours. Highly intelligent. Thank you, sir.

BROWN: Thank you, friend. Thank you.

ZAKARIA: We'll be back in a moment to go in depth on the high political drama unfolding in Israel.



ZAKARIA: Just 38 minutes before his deadline on Wednesday, the Israeli centrist politician Yair Lapid informed President Reuven Rivlin that he would be able to cobble together a coalition, form a government and thus end the reign of Bibi Netanyahu.

As I said at the start of the show, this group of parties from across the political spectrum seems united in one thing -- a dislike of the sitting prime minister. So what to expect next?

Joining me are Anshel Pfeffer and Lucy Aharish. Anshel writes for "Haaretz" and the "Economist," and is the author of "Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu" and Lucy is an Israeli journalist.

Lucy, let me begin with you. You are an Israeli journalist. You are also of Arab origin. Do you think it means a lot that for the first time Israeli Arabs are part of this coalition?

LUCY AHARISH, ISRAELI JOURNALIST: Well, we are talking definitely, Fareed, about a historic moment in the Israeli Arab community and society concerning the political arena in Israel. This is historic because for the first time in a long time the Arab vote actually means something.

For a long, long time we could see that in the last few years, especially in the last five years where we saw a lot of incitement against the Arab society and against the Arab parties in Israel, especially coming from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we were able to see big incitement against the votes of the Arab society. And for the first time we see that actually when an Arab citizen is going to vote, his vote means something.


His vote basically is -- means something concerning taking -- taking the decisions, and the decision-making in the coalition and being a part of the Israeli coalition, it's a huge thing.

ZAKARIA: Anshel, let me ask you about the -- the future of this coalition, because it does seem so bound together simply by the desire to not let Bibi have another term.

How will it stay in power?

And is the key that it doesn't do anything on the many issues that it -- that people within it disagree on, mainly the Palestinians?

You know, it -- it seems as though any movement on the Palestinian issue and the coalition falls apart?

ANSHEL PFEFFER, ISRAELI JOURNALIST: Well, it's a very good question, Fareed. Obviously, this coalition has a joint purpose, and that is replacing Benjamin Netanyahu. That's why this disparate number, eight different parties, from right, center, left, and Mansour Abbas's Islamist conservative party are joining together to replace Netanyahu.

Now, once that happens, assuming it happens, because Netanyahu is fighting this every inch of the way, but assuming they actually get sworn in and they're in office, once they've achieved that joint purpose, what next?

So, first of all, they will still have Netanyahu around. He will be the leader of the opposition. He'll remain leader of Likud. He certainly wants to get back in. He -- he'll be planning a -- a comeback. And the fact that he's still around will actually help them to keep together because they won't -- you know, they'll try and get -- they'll try and keep their own arguments to a minimum so as not to give Netanyahu an opening to coming back.

And I think that, after 12 years in which Benjamin Netanyahu has been the -- you know, the focal point of everything happening in Israeli politics, everything has been about him, and so much of policy and the -- and the issues have been warped by his own personal struggles, I think that now there's a group of politicians who will have an opportunity just to get about the business of government without this character Netanyahu dominating the agenda.

I think that they will -- they'll take this opportunity, even though they have significant differences between them in ideology and in party. I think they'll take this opportunity to just get down to running the country and -- you know, having a stable government. That in itself is an achievement and it's something that I think they can stick at for longer than some of us are expecting them to do.

ZAKARIA: Lucy, let me ask you about the violence that just took place before the cease-fire in Gaza. One of the things many commentators pointed out was that, for the first time, the violence spilled over into Israel proper in the sense that there were clashes between Israeli Arabs, Israeli citizens of Arab origin, and Israeli Jews.

Do you think that that's significant? And does that suggest a rising, I don't know, radicalization, activism on the part of the Israeli Arabs on the Palestinian issue?

AHARISH: What happened at the last round of war, let's call it, or operation, in the Gaza Strip that spilled over to Israel, to Israeli Arabs, it's more complicated than it looks. And I -- I think that we don't have, like, two hours to speak about the situation, unfortunately.

But the situation of Israeli Arabs in Israel is more complicated. We are talking about, for the last five years even more, that the Israeli Arab society is suffering from a very complicated situation concerning tribal violence that -- that occurred in Arab villages.

The Israeli Arab society was asking, basically begging the Israeli government to take care -- to take out the weapon that was held by some gangs, by some criminal gangs, living in -- criminal Arab gangs -- living in Israeli Arab villages, begging the Israeli government to take care of it and saying that eventually it won't end up only happening in Israeli villages.

It's very easy to tell you, OK, of course Israeli Palestinians, or Israeli Arabs living in Israel, they were angry about what is happening in Gaza, but it's not like that. It's more complicated. We're talking more about domestic issues of the Israeli Arab society happening inside the Israeli Arab society that we're not taking care of being mixed up with the situation happening with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

So, you know, it's not black and white, like you know, Fareed, in the -- here in Israel. It's always one plus one is never two.


ZAKARIA: Anshel, you wrote in Haaretz that this new coalition does not just shatter the Bibi myth but it actually shatters a lot of myths that American Jews have. Explain what you mean.

PFEFFER: Well, Americans, American Jews, American television viewers have been used to seeing Netanyahu for almost four decades now on their screen as Mr. Israel, from 1982 when he became Israel's deputy ambassador in Washington. Then he was ambassador at the U.N. in New York.

And ever since, he has been the face, the mouthpiece of Israel and the voice of Israel, you name it. And he's become synonymous with Israel for so many different groups of Americans.

And what I wrote in my column today is that, for a lot of representatives of Israel, a lot of Israel's supporters, this is actually a -- a moment when they're happy to see Netanyahu go because they don't want Netanyahu to necessarily be the person representing Israel. He's become a symbol of so much which is toxic and -- and negative about Israel.

He has had his successes; they can't be denied, but he really has become, for -- he's become a global bogeyman. And I think that it -- it's a good thing for Israel that he's no longer -- you know, assuming that the new coalition is sworn in, it's a good thing that Israel will have some new faces to show to the world.

ZAKARIA: Anshel, Lucy, thank you for helping us try to understand a complicated situation.

AHARISH: Thank you, Fareed.

PFEFFER: Thanks, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS", Ezra Klein joins me to explain why we need a moonshot for meatless meat.

KLEIN: People like meat. I like meat. I'm not here to tell anybody it's not delicious. But what it is doing to the planet, what it is doing to the animals and what it is doing to our own pandemic and antibiotic risk is something that should worry all of us.



ZAKARIA: One of the fanciest, highest-rated, most theatrical and most delicious restaurants in Manhattan made a stunning announcement last month. Eleven Madison Park announced that, after a long closure due to the pandemic, it would reopen with an entirely animal-free, plant- based menu.

It's part of a larger trend that seems to be slowly gathering more and more steam. People are seeing the light, as I have, that eating animal products cannot only be bad for you; it can be bad for the planet. I am not a vegetarian yet but working my way to having more vegetables and less meat.

My next guest says that this trend needs to speed up. In the New York Times, Ezra Klein published a manifesto saying we need a "moonshot for meatless meat."

Ezra, welcome back to the show.

EZRA KLEIN, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you. Good to be here.

ZAKARIA: So tell us about your journey, because you used to be a -- a delighted and voracious meat-eater. You's post pictures of hamburgers on your Instagram. What happened?

KLEIN: You know, I had known that the way we treat animals on factory farms wasn't something that I morally could support, and I could just push it out of my mind. And that's what I did for -- for many years. But I say that to say, like, I love meat.

As you said, I put it on the Instagram. I, you know, chased after fancy restaurants. And then in my 20s, I began going more vegetarian and I went back and forth. For a long time, I was vegan, except I would let myself have three burgers a month because I love burgers.

And I say all that not because my personal journey on this is interesting but because this is part of what I think should happen here. People like meat; I like meat; I'm not here to tell anybody it's not delicious. But what it is doing to the planet, what it is doing to the animals and what it is doing to our own pandemic and antibiotic risk is something that -- that should worry all of us.

ZAKARIA: So let's talk about that. What is it, something in the range of 80 billion animals -- 80 billion animals are slaughtered every year for meat. What do we know about the suffering and what do we know about the climate effects?

KLEIN: Yeah, and so that's even just land animals. But so 80 billion land animals slaughtered a year for meat, most of them chickens. Look, we live in the age of animal cruelty. It was not possible to raise, concentrate, pack together and slaughter animals at the scale we do now at any other time in human history because we didn't have the technology.

The animals we eat are technologies. They're not animals. They're bred to -- to grow really quickly. We pump them full of antibiotics so they don't get sick when we pack them together in these industrial factory farming operations.

And I always want to say, like, if you're a farmer or you're eating, you know, regeneratively raised meat, like that's fine, like that's not something I'm all that concerned about. But most of us eat meat from industrial agriculture. And that has tremendous consequences.

And there's a lot of disease risk because viruses mutate and evolve in these packed-together factory farms. They then can mutate into a form that could jump to humans, or we eat so many antibiotics that our antibiotics stop working on us and then we get antibiotic-resistant diseases.

So the -- so there is a lot of animal suffering here. But stacked on top of that is actually a lot of human suffering, too.

ZAKARIA: What is the climate risk? Something like half of all the habitable land on Earth is used for farming, right?

KLEIN: It is wild. Yes, half of all habitable land on Earth is used for agriculture. Most of that is used for animal agriculture. And -- and just to take one step further on that, the reason it matters is what is often happening here is you are clear-cutting forest, right, trees and grasses. They sequester carbon. They pull carbon out of the air and they keep it in themselves and in the ground.

You're clear-cutting that and then putting cows there. You know, this is happening all over the Amazon, for instance. And then the cows, for a lot of different reasons, are unbelievably intense producers of greenhouse gases, particularly methane.

So you're taking a -- a natural part of the Earth's ecosystem, which sequesters carbon, and replacing it with an unnatural one which emits another super-powerful greenhouse gas.


Methane is 10 to 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon. And that is happening on a scale that is almost -- like melts the human mind to try to imagine.

ZAKARIA: I mean, people often ask, "What can I do personally about climate change?"

And wouldn't you say, if you do -- if you do the math, probably the thing any single human being can do that would matter the most would be to eat less meat.

KLEIN: That is absolutely true. And -- and I want to be really clear on this because people primarily do not go and they do not stay vegan. And so whatever my eating habits are, it's not what I am recommending to everybody.

It would be profound if everybody ate half as much meat, right? It is much more important than having twice as many people go vegan. It would be profound if everybody ate 30 percent less meat.

The single biggest thing people can do to reduce climate risk is remove red meat particularly from their diet. The problem is a lot of people do that and then they eat more chicken, and that's actually worse for the animals themselves because chickens are -- you kill more of them to eat them, right? A family will eat a cow over the course of a year, a chicken in a night. And they're treated worse than cows.

So my hope is that we can find things that replace meat in the diet without needing quite so many animals being involved.

ZAKARIA: And you point out that, in the column you wrote about this, American business has actually been at the forefront of coming up with substitutes that taste a lot like meat but are plant-based?

KLEIN: Yeah, this is a, sort of, remarkable technological change in the last 10 years. So you go back 10 or 15 years, you have Tofurkeys and you have, you know, weird garden burgers. But then you've had the rise, just more recently, of things like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat and just -- and they're making these new plant and in some cases even cell-based, coming up now, chickens, burgers and chickens, that taste remarkably good.

So, I mean, Impossible's on fancy menus all over the country. If you go to Burger King, you get an Impossible Whopper. You really have a lot of trouble tasting the difference from a normal Whopper.

Now, like, you can get a better burger at the finest restaurant, I'm not arguing that, but in terms of just normal food, it actually works pretty well.

And this is the very beginning of this industry, and that's a key thing in my column. Because America already has a leadership position, if we begin putting public research behind it to accelerate that, we could really see both, like, our economic value in this, you know, multiplied tremendously over the coming years, but also the gains we could get from it could multiply tremendously over the next couple of years.

Just like we've put a lot of money behind electric cars and battery charging stations and renewable energy, we should put money behind this, because we can create a better technology that is cleaner and better for the planet and better for us, at not that large of an investment.

ZAKARIA: Ezra Klein, thank you.

KLEIN: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS", Spain and Morocco practically touch at the entrance to the Mediterranean, and today relations across the Straits of Gibraltar are worse than they have been in decades. I'll explain when we come back.



ZAKARIA: And now for the last look. If you want to understand the continuing appeal of populism in much of the Western world, let me take you to the little-known land border between Morocco and the small Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa.

Since Ceuta, population 84,000, is part of Spain, it is also part of the European Union. Therefore crossing into Ceuta is seen by migrants as an opportunity to make it into Europe without risking a dangerous clandestine crossing off the Mediterranean.

Normally, the barrier that separates both countries is watched over by Moroccan authorities with eagle-eyed diligence because of an agreement between the two nations. But in the last few months everything changed.

Back in April, Spain agreed to temporarily take in a separatist leader from the western Sahara region for medical treatment. Morocco controls that region. So, in May, Rabat decided to show its displeasure by allowing at least 8,000 migrants into tiny Ceuta over just a few days.

Then the Spanish military was called in and thousands of the migrants were escorted back across the border. But the political damage was done.

As Pablo Pardo explains in Foreign Policy, the incident has moved immigration back to the forefront of Spanish politics, and the far right is seizing the moment.

The anti-immigration party Vox, a key player in regional Spanish politics, has called what happened at Ceuta "an invasion" and demanded the permanent militarization of the border.

In a pattern that is familiar for many parts of the world, Pardo notes that the extreme positions of Spain's Vox party have led the mainstream right to take on a more populist stance, potentially shifting all of Spanish conservative politics to the right.

When Spain holds its next national elections, we may look back at the Ceuta incident as the moment that propelled the far right to national prominence there.

But there is another crucial takeaway. Deals to keep migrants from European shores such as the one Spain struck with Morocco or the E.U. has made with Turkey do not make migration go away. But they do give leaders like the king of Morocco or Turkey's President Erdogan huge leverage over the politics of the entire European continent. And they have not hesitated to use it.

As the New York Times pointed out, Spain approved a $37 million aid package to Morocco just hours after the migrants started flooding into Ceuta.

Erdogan has more than once threatened to open the doors to migrants after a 2016 deal with the E.U. to hold them within his country. After the E.U. declined to support Turkey's military forays into northern Syria, he made good on his threat.


In 2020 Turkey led thousands of migrants through to Turkey's border with Greece, triggering a humanitarian crisis.

Researchers have taken to calling the phenomenon "the weaponization of migration."

Migration is a very complex issue and it has no easy fixes. But for as long as the plan remains to sweep it under the rug, to simply keep migrants out of Europe rather than devising a more permanent solution, this weaponization of migratory flows will hang over the European Union. And when it comes into play, populists like Vox will be waiting to pounce.

Thanks for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.