tv Amanpour on PBS PBS April 3, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PDT
welcome to "amanpour" on pbs. tonight, the death toll in gaza rises to 18 in what's become the worst violence between israelis and palestinians in years. what does this mean for any chance of peace? with me to discuss is professor lali halili from the university of london. as the uk and europe see a rise in anti s-semitism. ruby wax on her timely quest to find out.
"amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the support of rosalyn p. walter. welcome to the program. the plight of the palestinians in gaza where almost 2 million people are packed into a strip of territory just 25 miles long has pretty much fallen off the media map. but in the runup to the 70th aern verse anniversary of the palestinian's independence, tensions are flaring. this weekend, the highly publicized protest of the israel/gaza border kicked off what is advertised as a six-week series of demonstrations by the palestinians culminating on the may 14th anniversary. the israeli defense forces announced that it had deployed more than 100 snipers at the border. sure enough, 18 people have been killed and hundreds more
wounded. it was a friday protest which fell on passover and good friday. predictably, both sides are calling each other out. what does this really mean for the bigger picture? for any hope of peace 70 years on. a professor of middle eastern politics at the university of london joins me now here in the studio. welcome to the program. >> thank you very much. >> i sort of started by saying, this issue, particularly the palestinians, have fallen off the map. plus, we have this major anniversary, 07 ye anniversary, 70 years in may coming up. why do you think the protests were plan and highly publicized? it's not as if they sprung up without everybody knows. >> there's a sense among palestinians and in gaza that nothing has seemed to work. oslo is dead pretty much as far as palestinians are dead. the palestinian authority is doing the biddings of israel for
man the biddings of mrpalestinis themselves or that's what people feel to a large degree. for example, the palestinis auory has collaborated with israel in cutting off electricy gaza. this has been the case since last summer. the conditions are petty bad. my sense is that to a large extent the demonstrations that have been planned have emerged out of grass-roots movements that have had it enough, that have had enough with both israeli occupation but also with the ways in which incompetent among the leadership in palestinian authority and a division between palestinian authority and the rulers in gaza who are hamas is actually resulting in a kind of stalling of any sort of movement. the demonstrations were planned to start on 30th of march, which is the anniversary of a 1976 demonstration for land by palestinian citizens of israel. in some sense i think my sense is that palestinians on the
ground in gaza are thinks they want to create a kind of a movement, a kind of an impetus to gather into a mobilizatiomob. the only time they have succeeded is when there has been non-violence, peaceful mass demonstration. this was the case in the first intifada. i imagine the grass-roots organizations are thinking this could be the case. >> what went wrong? did certain bits of the demonstration get peeled off by others who had a different agenda? in other words, the organizers said, we don't want stones. this is going to be non-violent. and yet we had a situation in which israel felt compelled to return with live fire. i think the fact of stone throwing is probably unrelated to israeli snirspening fire. in ct, before the stone throwing started happening, they
posted a tweet how they were in control and they were going to be there and they planned everything out. they had a little statement that said, we know where every bullet fell. th they deleted this tweet. >> the general in charge did say we will have snipers, 100 he said. >> the interesting thing is the free fire zone that israel has created is actually a space of some tens of meters between where the snipers are and where the palestinians are. the chances really of a palestinian sending a stone that's going to hit anybody is near zero. the stone throwing is symbolic. this is a form of demonstration that palestinians have always used. the palestinian nas called theme
children of stone. this is symbolic. the fact israelis fired has as much to do with the israeli military but also withpolitics. >> they have stood by the soldiers. they reject ind 3eependent investigation the u.n. called for and others. let's figure out, is there a strategy on either side? what do you think is -- you mentioned the palestinians are fed up with all the avenues they have tried. do you have an untenable situation in gaza. you have an internal fight between the palestinian authority and hamas. you do have a situation where hamas is viewed by israel and the rest of the world as a terrorist organization. whato the palestinians have in terms of any likelihood with their leadership that there will be any kind of negotiation or going to peace or whatever with
the israelis? is that even on the table at this poememoment? >> in the popular groups in the demonstrations yesterday -- there's references to how hamas organizes. i don't think this is a primary ham hamasing organized demonstrati. my sense is in response to the ongoing sense of -- the kind of divisions that are happening in gaza in the face of ongoing violence by the israeli state, people are actually thinking the only way to go is to resort to what they have been the best at, popular mobilization. they see this happening in not only in go saturdaza but also i west palestinian. the 16-year-old palestinian girl who slapped a soldier has become an international hero of sorts. i think that sense that perhaps if they just leave their leaders behind and organize in the way
that they did, again, during the first intifada where it was extensive, this connected from the plo which was in exile at the time. peaceful. getting pastinians into the n world view, into the international community's sense of consciousness of what was going on. again, my sense is that historically, whenever palestinians have mobilized in these forms of peaceful mass demonstrations, they have managed to extract some forms of concession from the israeli state. >> what do you make of the american role right now? it has always been the honest broker. it has attempted to bring all sides together. people are looking at the trump administration for the much wanted peace plan he promised. but also to wonder what the effects of moving the embassy to jerusalem -- they say they will do it on the anniversary, so may
14th. >> i think the u.s. being an honest broker is considered to be a bit of a joke by everybody. from the very beginning, the u.s. administration, after u.s. aft administration has been standing behind the israelis. i was an internal at the council on foreign relations. actually, nothing has moved in the 20-something years since -- >> there was a period during the '90s of peace, prosperity and coming together. >> but the fact is that the trump administration, perhaps what it has done is set aside the usual diplomatic niceties. the fact of the matter that moving the embassy goes to the heart of one of the most contentious issues that was supposed to be negotiated. and i think that in some sense
this actually -- if anything, it persuades palestinians that the u.s. is not going to be doing anything that is going to benefit them. that might also account for the forms of popular mobilization we are seeing emerging. what this might mean, again, also depends on what's going on in israeli politics. netanyahu is having lots of legal trouble. wag the dog situation is unfortunately in all politics, often a good way to distract. >> the palestinian authority president is less and less liked and respected by his people. >> i think he lost the respect of the peoplor quite a long while. everywhere in palestine, but early in gaza, because of the ways in which it has collaborated with israel and actually tightening a noose around the necks of ordinary palestinians in the strip. >> thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> we're going to turn to tel aviv where lord michael levy is joining me. he was british prime minister tony blair's special envoy to
the middle east. he is a main jewish voice in britain's opposition labor party. welcome to the program. can i start by asking you, just a question in your role, if you could put it back on as middle east envoy. do you see a difference of this era in terms of any opportunity to come together, israelis and palestinians, for a peace process again? >> first of all, thank you for having me on. let me perhaps just echo the sentiments of the former heads, those who are still alive today. they jointly did a whole press interview. the real crux what have they said was the biggest problem
facing israel today is the lack of a peace deal with the palestinians. and also the lack of a two-state solution. as that is being said by the former heads, some of the most sophisticated players that israel has ever had, that to me is more meaningful than anything. weait to see whether that will ever, you know, ever sort of produce some kind of peace. i do remember -- we just heard lali say the first intifada did lead to one of the more meaningful moments in bringing the two sides together. we wonder what these current protests and particularly the anniversary, the 70th anniversary might bring. let me turn now to all this talk, you negotiation of anti-semitism that is engulfing your party, the labor party, right here in great britain. first and foremost, as a leading
jewish light in the united kingdom, how seriously do you take this as a member of the labor party? is it as bad as people are saying? it has been a very, very difficult period. there is a great angst amongst the jewish population in the uk. they feel very confused as to what has been happening. and from my perspective, on anti-semitism, there must be a zero tolerance policy, both within the labor party, within every political party and in the media. and we have just seen incident after incident. and one must realize that it has been from the left. somehow many have now joined the party and they feel that they can get away with saying
whatever they want. that has to stop. because it is really sad for the labor party and, frankly, for british politics. we're talking about the main opposition party. and this cannot continue in any form whatsoever. >> i mean, i wonder why you, when you think about this, you think it's on the rise. because the labor party has been traditionally the home for british jews. there are 300,000 strong across the united kingdom. how now does jeremy corbyn, who is finally, after days of protest and after a lot of criticism, admitted the party has an anti-semitism problem, how does he rebuild bridges with the jewish community?
>> with great difficulty. one cannot say that the labor party is always been the home of the jewish community. the jewish community, like any other community, are divided in their politics and rightly so. people within the jewish community no longer feel comfortable being part of the labobor party. and this problem must be tackled. i have been asked, well, why don't you leave the labor party? my answer is, this isn't jeremy corbyn's labor party. everyone who votes labor is a shareholder in the party. the millions of people across the country who vote for labor, they are shareholders in this party. and have every right to be in the party and want to be part of the labor party. and i believe my voice from within will sound much stronger than from being without. my intention is to try and
change things within the labor party. is that going to be easy? no, it's not. but they really have to change their attitude. you have heard what corbyn has been saying. let us see if the words get into action, which is really what is so absolutely relevant today. >> you know, some people have said that this anti-semitism really -- it just -- well, for many reasons, it shouldn't be happening. one of the affects of it, the side effect is that it blurs the line of legitimate criticism of let's say israeli government policy, government policy, for instance over the politics and peace process and the rest of it. does that concern you? >> well, i really do believe
very strongly that there shouldn't be any blurring between the israeli situation and anti-semitism. if one says one doesn't believe in the state of israel, one doesn't believe in the existence of the state of israel, i think that crosses the border into anti-semitism. one can absolutely believe in the state of israel, the security of the state of israel, but be critical of the government and actions that happen in israel. that is genuine criticism of a government in a country that is a democracy. that is very, very different from some of the zionists stand for and what is tantamount to not believing that the state of israel should exist, should have security and be part of the world of nations.
to me, that is a very, very big difference. i want to refer back to your earlier comment and the comments by the professor that was on before me. i worked so hard with blair for ten years as the envoy for there to be peace in this region. in the same way, i don't want to give up the fact that the labor party will come back to the party that i have always supported and believed in. i want to believe that there is still a way forward for there to be peace in this region. because listening to what the former heads said, it's the biggest problem facing israel today. and frankly, i would like to think in my lifetime there can be real peace in this region. >> let us hope so. the 70th anniversary is nearly upon us on may 14th. thank you so much. all this talk of bigotry, division and violence, it does beg the question, are we losing
touch with what is means to be human? it's the topic of a new book by an american author and comedian ruby wax. she's a household name here in the uk. a passionate campaigner for mental health. she calls this new work a manual to help upgrade our minds in a world obsessed with technology and instant gratification. she joined me earlier to discuss her own search for inner peace. ruby wax, welcome back to the program. >> thank you. >> so what made you take on this, basically, how to be human, the manual, after you have been immersed in mindfulness for so long? you are on stage -- what is different about this? >> let's leave mindfulness, because it's not for everybody. the manual for how to be human is -- it's the thing that's miing. felt. i used the monk and a neuroscientist, because the monk really understands the nature of the mind.
because i don't want to get too new agy, the neuroscientist comes in and says, right or wrong, this is actually where we know research has shown, this is in the mind and, yes, it's true, we can hold back on thoughts, we can observe thoughts. you know, as far as technology, we're at the top of our game. but understanding how our minds work, nobody paid a lot of attention. we're supposed to be at this stage as far as our toys. because we understand evolution has helped us build this unbelievable -- we invented bubble wrap for god sake. we're advanced. it's like we have a ferrari on top of our heads but nobody gave us the keys. it's time to understand. there's so much distraction. what to pay attention to and what you can let go. >> give us an example. what made you think of this? what were you paying too much attention to and not letting go of enough? >> first of all, it's really important to know what's human. what we all share.
for example, why the negative thinking? somebody said, we're velcroed to negative thoughts. teflon to positive ones. we all have that, i'm not good enough, i shouldn't do this. the more stimulated we get, it's not actually more exciting, it actually is more threatening. what you don't have, what you are shown. our levels of fear are at the top level. at that point, we can't think clearly. it's important to say, this is how we're built. we're supposed to be on the lookout. in a world where the news is 20,000 miles away, it can't affect me the way it affects me that i wasn't invited to the party, that i'm not attractive enough. all these things are human featu features. >> so what i think is really interesting is just i'm focusing on what you said, somehow we're sticking to bad news and teflon to the positive. what did you discover about the human mind that makes us be
that? why can't we sort of latch on to the positive and absorb the positive? >> it's survival mechanism. like animals, they have to be on their toes always to see what's coming up. because we don't have claws or we don't have sharp teeth, we have our minds. our minds can imagine things. we can't really -- as i said, we can't tell us what really dangerous and what isn't. like an animal, always looking around, we have these words that are alarming. rather than saying, watch out the ice age is coming, there's a predator, which is helpful. we're going, what should i worry about? north korea or too much salt? part of our brains are 500,000 years ago. they don't know why we're feeling the fear. they're just highly alarmed. that has a real top down cascade. every disease, almost every illness is because the mind issais
a age state agitated. everybody wonders why, why, why. it's because there is frazzled. >> what is the solution with your buddhist monk and your neurosi neuroscientist and you? what are the solutions you have come up with? >> it's to understand the mind. you can't get busier and you can't fake it anymore. you can but you will crash and burn. success isn't everything. if you hot house your children, they may get straight as but call me in 45 years and tell me what institution they have been put in. we have to understand just a little bit the nature of this mind. if you understand why more negative, then you don't feel so much it is your condition. it's the human condition. basically, if you understand the machinery a little bit, then you forgive yourself. >> you are focusing on mental health and the state of what's happening right here. >> i'm saying, express what's going on for you. if it's not good, tell me. don't bump it up. we live in a world where the
pressure of showing you are having a wonderful time is extreme. >> do you feel that right now we're in a highly stressed set of political reality? >> it's too much incoming. we have no way of saying, this is important, this isn't. i have written 10,000 e-mails. i only had to do five. we're creatures of addiction. we're creatures of adrenaline is really delicious. not only do we -- it harms us, this constant incoming. but we have a hunger for it. in a way by setting these people up, i keeps us agitat. the thing is, nobody gets addicted to kale. they get addicted to chaos. >> i get exactly what you mean. >> this constant going on about trump, we got a problem but i'm not a politician, is -- you can see there's almost pleasure you are in it. every dinner party, it's salacious. every comedian that comes on and talks about him is bumping up the anger of the other guy. i don't know what to do. i'm just saying, we're addicts
to now this madness. >> what is your definition of being human, how to be human? >> it's understanding my machinery a little bit. it's understanding when i start getting too threatened, what actually happens biologically in my head. my memory shuts down. i really -- what usually happens is i believe it's coming from you. because we will project. then i will slam it back. again, it's that animal thing. you see it in business with the antlers lock. it doesn't make you feel worse. it's thrilling. what we don't understand is that every time you squirt some of the adrenaline, it's like alcohol. you are poisoning yourself. people are at work and they are at full turbo. they go home and they are still at full turbo. if you understand how to drive your mind like you drive a car, pull it in, now push it out, now i need -- sometimes you need your mojo. sometimes you need to pull the brakes. kids need to learn how to lower
their courtisol before they tak an exam. the next generation should not just academically with themself but really understand how they relate to each other. >> it's part of a debate that's ongoing, particularly with kids and next generation ruby wax, thank you very much. >> thanks very much. so let's all practice driving our brains a little more carefully. that's it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour" on pbs. join us again tomorrow night. >> "amanpour" on pbss was made possible by the generous support of rosalyn p. walter.