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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  July 7, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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gradually filtered southwards as we go to the new week and it will be turning a bit cooler at times, but with high pressure still with us, apart from the odd shower, will still be dry. hello. this is bbc news with lukwesa burak. the headlines: theresa may warns her cabinet any further dissention over brexit won't be tolerated as ministers agree on a plan for the uk's future relationship with the eu. the england team have arrived at the komos arena in samara with just 30 minutes to go until their world cup quarterfinal against sweden. 12 thai boys trapped
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in a cave write letters to their parents telling them they are strong and not to worry. year police investigating the poisoning of a couple in wiltshire last weekend warn the operation will take months to complete. he now on the news channel, hardtalk‘s stephen sackur goes tojerusalem to interview mayor nir barkat. welcome to hardtalk, with me, stephen sackur. this ancient city has arguably stirred up more passion, argument and hostility than any other. israel claims it as its undivided capital, a claim which runs counter to international law and much world opinion, but it has been boosted by the decision of donald trump to move the us embassy here.
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well, my guest today isjerusalem's mayor, nir barkat. can israel conclusively win the struggle forjerusalem? mayor nir barkat, welcome to hardtalk. welcome tojerusalem, steve. thank you. you're coming to the end of your second term, you've declared there will be no third term, so it's time to look back, in a way. what do you think you have achieved in your, pretty much, a decade in charge ofjerusalem? well, i was fortunate to lead jerusalem in the last decade. jerusalem is now in a very positive momentum. tourism is up, our high—tech sector, we're one of the top 25 cities in the world.
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we were never counted as a high—tech city. the city is quiet, one of the safest cities in the world, so i believe i leave the city in a very positive momentum. i received it and it was not very positive, to say the least. i believe in every practical parameter you check out, is the city doing well, it is common practice that the city is doing very well. well, that is, i may say, a very positive spin, but this city is also one of the most divided in the world. and if one looks at it from the point of view of its arab citizens, it is a city which is consistently failing its people. well, i totally disagree with you. the reality is, that if you look at our arab population injerusalem, they are doing far better than anywhere in the region, than syria, sumaria, gaza, the arab residents ofjerusalem are part of the city. they have the same quality of health services, they are part of the job and the economy, their education system is doing much better, so in any practical parameter
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the arab residents ofjerusalem are doing far, far better than in the past, and far better than any arab in the area. but this is a two—tier city, where arabs are second—class citizens. because you talk about the achievements of your ten years, and you have a tech sector like never before, you are building a financial sector. you've got your new trams, you've got massive new hotels. there is a lot to see injerusalem that is new that has come under your watch, but very little of that has filtered through to prosperity for your arab citizens. if you look at the jerusalem institute for policy research numbers, they show that the poverty rate for arab citizens, residents of your city, has actually gone up during your term. well, first of all, when it rains, it rains on everyone. according to you, it is not raining forjerusalem, but it is raining for them. that is not true. the reality is that the number of arabs joining the labour force has dramatically climbed. you see more and more of the arab
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population becoming part of the economy. in the past, they didn't even try to apply for a job. our unemployment in all sectors is less than 4%, meaning that everyone who wants a job can, and gets a job. the next point is that the quality of life vis—a—vis if you look at the service they get in the hospitals, they are like everyone else. and, by the way, poverty is notjust the arab population, we have it in the ultraorthodox population. and the challenge is not necessarily only for the arabs. 75% poverty rate for the arab citizens of your city. it is the same for the ultraorthodox jewish population as well. and my role as the mayor is to do three things and that is what i have been doing. job creation, so people can join the labour force, focus on education and the number of arab residents that choose and elect by option the better israeli education system and half the population wants to join our education and get people out of poverty.
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it is the same system betweenjews and arabs, and we are fighting poverty all over, and doing a good job of it. you've had ten years in charge of this city. can you explain to me why the arab population of this city lacks at least 2500 classrooms, and onlyjust over half of all arab residents are actually connected to the water grid? can you explain that? yes, i can explain that very well. first of all it is 4000 classrooms missing injerusalem. 2000 for the arab population, and 2000 for thejewish population. it is actually 2500 for the arab population and let's remember that they are, what, 38% of your city population, not 50%. ifully agree. so it is a scandalous figure and you have been in charge for ten years. what i am doing is i have taken a loan and we are building and we are catching up with that neglect. we are dramatically improving that situation.
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the city i received had a lot of neglect in terms of classrooms not only for the arab population. the reality is that the neglect is all over the city. and, if anything, i have pushed a button and we are developing, dramatically, hundreds of classrooms every year. and we are catching up with neglect, and year after year we are opening up new schools in eastjerusalem. and, ifanything, iam proud of the fact that we admit the challenge and we are dealing with it. i took accountability and responsibility and we are developing the city for the benefit of all children. here is a fascinating thing said by the president of your country, reuven rivlin, injune, first ofjune, 2018, he said this, "we have been saying for 50 years thatjerusalem is united, but we do not behave as if it is united." well, i'd agree with some of what he said, which is there is a lot to do, that is why i left all my business career and focused on improving the city ofjerusalem.
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and i am happy to tell you that in my term, in the ten years i have been mayor, we have dramatically changed that momentum. it was a negative momentum. the gaps were growing. now they are shrinking. so, if you look at the trends in the city, i am very proud of the fact that i changed the trend. and now we are dealing with the reality, and we are doing a good job relative to where we were. and there is still a lot of work to do. let me ask you a very simple question, how good is your arabic? i don't speak arabic but i know how to speak to my arab population very well. you don't speak arabic. so, 330,000 of your residents are arab but you have made no effort in ten years to speak arabic. i speak to them on a daily basis. i serve them on a daily basis. can you put yourself in their shoes? can you see life from their point of view, really? you think you can? of course, i do. so how would you feel if you were an arab citizen of this city and you looked at the building
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laws and you looked at the way in which construction works in this city. and you see that the vast majority of building permits given are given tojewish builders forjewish residences. let me quote you a jewish, not an arab palestinian, but a jewish ngo who studied this, ir amim, they say 8% of building permits for housing units in jerusalem have gone to palestinian neighbourhoods. 8%. 40% of this city is arab. in my ten years as mayor, that's totally nonsense. in the past, if you couldn't prove that you owned a piece of land, you wouldn't get approval. we have created all kinds of structures to enable giving people permits. so we had lots of challenges to overcome for the benefit of enabling more building. and we've done that. that's total nonsense. how many houses have been demolished under your watch, palestinian houses, injerusalem? i think, if i remember correctly,
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there was about 200. hundreds, yeah. 200 a year. half in the west side, half in the east side. um, i take extra care. when i look at how to help my arab residents, to improve their quality of life, we want to make sure that there is enough places for building green parks and we want to make sure there is enough space for schools and kindergartens, and we want to make sure they build property. and, by the way, it is in the interest of the arab population. and they come to me, the majority of the time, and they say, "hey, this building is hurting our quality of life, help us improve our quality of life." more than 2500 palestinians have been left homeless because of house demolitions, and at the very same time they've seen that more than 2500 jewish settlers have moved into palestinian neighbourhoods of jerusalem. does that seem right to you? i don't know how you make that equation. when jews buy apartments legally,
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they can buy and live anywhere they want in the world. 0ftentimes it is not done legally. you know that if we go back to the famous cases in silwan, one of the arab communities in the east of the city, we see that houses are built byjews without permits and it's only after the event that the buildings are legalised. you have been asked even by the american government to stop this happening, and you have failed to do so. injerusalem, you have to build — everywhere in the world, by the way — you have to build legally. if you don't build legally — and i will help everyone to build legally — i% of the buildings in silwan have a permit, i%! 99% of them do not have a permit. what i did, i changed the zoning code so that 97% would have a permit. you are taking two things that have nothing to do with each other. the first is, please build legally. 0ne second, let me finish my sentence. i am just trying to get to grips
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with the notion ofjustice. steve, justice. that's what i'm trying to talk about. there is one law injerusalem, you have to build according to the law. 0n the other hand, jews, muslims and christians can buy anywhere they want in the world. so, ifjews buy an apartment in the east side of the city, the west side, or injordan or syria, they are allowed to anywhere they want. let's talk about one other element of justice, is it justice to you that there are tens of thousands of citizens ofjerusalem in places like shu'fat refugee camp, which is inside the municipality ofjerusalem, which gets virtually no services whatsoever from your municipality, because they happen to be on the other side of the wall, the security fence, call it what you will, that now runs throutherusalem. they're on the other side. they do not get the services other residents get. is thatjust, is that fair? they get the services when they enter the fence, like any otherjerusalemite... bear with me, bear with me. they are jerusalemites. they are inside the municipality. you have put them on the other side of a great big wall.
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let me finish my sentence. the challenge is security. and when the people cleaning the streets are getting stoned, eventually it's challenging to serve the residents. i wish we could take the fence off. it makes a mockery. i wish we could enable the residents to get services like anywhere else. shu'fat is one place which makes a mockery of your claim that jerusalem is the eternal, undivided capital of israel. it makes a mockery of it. these people arejerusalemites. they are given no services. they get all of the services! they get all the services. we have demonstrated and proved that if we didn't have the security challenge we would serve them as much as we serve all the other residents, so how can we serve the other residents as much as we can? because everywhere we can, we will. it's exactly the opposite. have you ever heard of a jewish refugee? no, because thejews take care of all the refugees in the world. we take care of them. why is it that only palestinians, refugees, are in israel,
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in the land of israel, are they called refugees? why doesn't the arab world take care of them? there is no accountability on the palestinian side. there is only blaming israel for this. and we will do everything we can to help our arab palestinians. let me quote you an israeli lawyer, daniel cederman, who said, the only place wherejerusalem is, quote, "the undivided capital of israel is in the fertile imagination of ideologues such as netanyahu and mayor barkat. "nowhere else is there a mayor so disconnected from and in denial about the realities of the flesh and blood city over which he purports to preside". well, he is an extreme leftie and i beg to differ. he is a respected lawyer and human rights campaigner, that's what he is. i understand, and it has nothing to do with what i do every day, the way i serve my arab residents. last month we had ramadan. 1.2 million muslims came to temple mount to pray,
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and they went back home quietly in one of the safest and quietest times we ever had. and they all said, thank you, mayor, thank you, the police, for helping us and improving our quality of life. he does not report that. interesting you say that and you couch everything in terms of security because you made an interesting speech to some supporters couple of years ago when you talked about your philosophy of coexistence, and you said, "i have requested quotas and curfews acrossjerusalem, we have put 30 closures in place. "if you walk around the entrance and exit of the palestinian areas today you will see concrete blocks. "this philosophy creates our level of coexistence". what kind of coexistence is that? there was a time... let me explain to you why. when we had incitement and riots all over the city for no
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reason, riots for no reason, the riots and incitements was because israel wants to change the status quo which is nonsense. we had a peak of violence, whenjews were killed in the city ofjerusalem by violence. i said, hang on there, that will not happen and the peak of violence, we said to our arab residents, you cannot, when there is a risk ofjewish lives, unfortunately, i will protectjewish lives. and when the arab residents, the local arab leadership took responsibility over the riots, the kids, and it stopped, we immediately put that back into the safe so for 2.5 years, there was no blocks. i think it's a very clear message to arab residents we want to live together, we are living together but don't start threatening or unfortunately killing jews for no reason. interesting. do you think you might come to regret donald trump's decision, which you and prime minister netanyahu have greeted with such joy, his decision to move the us
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embassy to jerusalem? do you think that may backfire on israel one day? it is one of the most important moves made by an american president. that very simple recognition, that anywhere you put a shovel in the ground in the city, you find jewish roots, 2,000, 3,000 years. jerusalem was never claimed as the capital of any other people but thejews for 3,000 years so the recognition thatjerusalem is the capital of the jewish people is such a simple thing and that recognition is so important, notjust for us. we don't need that recognition. the bible recognises that. but the fact the leader of the free world did it is very, very simple move, i believe, if anything... do you want to tie israel to donald trump so very closely, to his values and his agenda? look at what has happened since. we have got very few nations who decided they will do the same thing and move their embassy tojerusalem but the massive majority of nations
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are simply not following suit. emmanuel macron, the president of france... i thought you were going to say something else. hang on, let me finish. macron said, our philosophy remains the same, recognising two states, jerusalem will be the capital of two sides with common frontiers recognised according to international laws and rules. i thought you were going to say something else. what did you think i was going to say? that you were amazed how quiet the city is, that since that recognition the city is flourishing and developing. i believe the arab residents respect the fact that it will stay as a united city. we have seen a lot of violence elsewhere. not injerusalem, not in... gaza? it's not connected to the city. 0n the day the embassy was opened in jerusalem we saw more than 50 palestinians shot. it's not contested injerusalem and the arab residents understand it's for their benefit as well.
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i thought you were going to say that nowhere in the world has a split city has ever functioned but, wow, indeed the city is now working as the common denominator for people that respect each other in the middle east. it doesn't exist anywhere in the middle east. you can't change facts on the ground. there are still possibly more than 330,000 arabs living in the city who don't get to vote in israeli elections, who are, if it is looked at from the outside, not treated in the same way as thejewish citizens of this city. you can't change that reality, you talk about one city, united, completely united, from the outside it is still fundamentally divided city. 0n the inside, you understand they have a right to vote for the municipality like green card holders everywhere and have an irrevocable right to become an israeli citizen if they want to. less than several thousand have sought that right and many have been rejected.
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that is not true. it is true, actually. it is under my responsibility and i will help them pursue their right. before we end, as we are running out of time, i do want to cast forward, you are leaving the mayoralty after two terms and made it clear you now want a national political career, you are going to run for the knesset for likud party. do you see this injerusalem, what you've done, as a springboard national office? it's an honour to take my experience as a combat soldier and as an entrepreneur in the hi—tech sector and in ten years serving my city as mayor, it's a moment —— an honour to take those skills and serve my country. benjamin netanyahu is facing two different sets of
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investigations involving allegations of bribess, sweetheart deals with newspaper owners, it's extraordinarily complex. he might be charged and indicted, his wife is also facing charges. many inside the likud party are said to feel that netanyahu's time is coming to an end. they want to leave the likud party? —— do you want to lead. he is doing a phenomenaljob leading the country. a lot of my success is due to his support and the back—up i got as mayor ofjerusalem. i will stand to the side and help them manage the country in the next terms until he decides to leave. have you seen the polls, a jerusalem post poll, 59% of people said the criminal investigations of prime minister netanyahu were damaging his ability to run the country and security crisis and asked whether he was corrupt, 48% of respondents said yes. this is a noise, don't listen to such noise levels. there are police
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investigations continuing. police can investigate, i have no problem with police investigations. i will continue supporting him when i become a parliament member. do you believe israel can and will make deep compromises for peace, compromises that will have to include jerusalem? the answer is, a bad deal is worse than no deal. if positioned by a bad deal, israel will say no. any prime minister will say no. the people of israel will say no. a good deal like we did with egypt and jordan, israel demonstrated. do you believe in a 2—state solution? no. you don't? i don't think so. i do believe in giving arab residents injudah and samaria civil autonomy and working on a mutual economy and that israeli defence should be all overjudah and samaria. we have seen times
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when the arab residents. u nfortu nately, sometime... your vision coming off ten years of running jerusalem is of a permanent occupation? are you going to annex the west bank, do you believe in annexation or giving the palestinian people who live in the west bank what you call autonomy rights but no right to vote in israeli elections? we are not one of the first places in the world with a special unique arrangement and many places in the world have it. to quote, israelis, including former prime ministers 0lmert and barak, that sounds like an apartheid solution. they are not in power and they don't know how to represent israeli public opinion and i do think the arab residents ofjenin should have autonomy. we don't need to manage their civil
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life is much as we don't need to manage jewish life. in south africa, under the apartheid system, they were called bantustans. is that what you're suggesting? israel is exactly the opposite of any kind of apartheid. there is no separation of buses, of anything. we go to the same hospitals, everything is open. people coming from south africa, i am married to an ex—south african, they laugh when people talk about apartheid in israel. it is total nonsense. it's an open system, the only real democracy in the middle east and the reality is, it is a challenged land and in other places in the world where land is challenged by third parties and others, you have to look and create a special arrangement and a special arrangement that enables the arab residents to have their autonomy. actually we proposed to improve the mutual economy and unfortunately because of the past experience,
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not given an army and make sure the israel defence force always has the ability to ensure security. we don't know what's going to happen to prime minister netanyahu but are you now throwing your hat into the ring to be his successor? no, it's not on the table. right now i'm going to stand and help on the site. stand i'm going to complete this november, ten years, very intensive role in the city ofjerusalem and i would be happy to serve to his right. whatever happens, we will talk about it in due time but right now, it's not on the table. mayor nir barkat, we have to end it there but thank you very much for being on hardtalk. pleasure. thank you, steve. the weather has been heating up
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again just the weather has been heating up againjust in time the weather has been heating up again just in time for the weekend. high 20s and low 30s. plenty of strong sunshine around, high uv levels and high pollen levels. a bit more of that as we go into tomorrow. most more of that as we go into tomorrow. m ost pla ces more of that as we go into tomorrow. most places are dry. not everywhere, though, bit of a change in northern scotla nd though, bit of a change in northern scotland tomorrow, one or two showers around. the odd one has developed a day in kent. you can see the emphasis over the next few hours, broken cloud and very warm and hot sunshine coming through. let us and hot sunshine coming through. let us take a look at the temperatures, a warmer day in northern scotland compared to yesterday. still only around the mid teens into the northern isles. certainly not clear blue sky, still doubt our sunny spells. some cloud has built in england and wales but further sunny
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spells. the heat is there, the odd shower in kent, they will fade away. a dry evening around, still some good sunshine to come, cloud increasing in north was dele west scotland. we will see a bit of light rain and drizzle, warm and i can better last night. just as one elsewhere across the uk. humid the further south you are as well. it makes it difficult to sleet and after the heat of the day. cool air behind a weather front, coming after the heat of the day. cool air behind a weatherfront, coming into northern scotland tomorrow and quite a bit of cloud and maybe light rain and drizzle not amounting to very much. i had about weather front in southern scotland, northern england, maybe northern ireland, you may find an isolated hit and mist shower. elsewhere, some cows going to build after sunny start but there will be plenty of spell the leg sunny spells to come. —— some clouds. elsewhere
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in the sunny spells, everywhere is warm, in the sunny spells, everywhere is warm , everywhere as in the sunny spells, everywhere is warm, everywhere as hot as it is today. the most places, barely a breath of wind. that cool adult —— air still tells southwards. the breeze coming in from the sea, a selection of places as we look at next week shows you that it is still mainly dry and where you get some sunshine, it is still warm and very warm out there. that is your latest forecast. i will be back in half an hour. hello. this is bbc news. i'm lukewesa burak. the headlines at 3: a nation expects. england face sweden in samara for a place in the world cup semifinals. and here's the scene, live in the kosmos stadium where the game
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has just got under way. millions of people are watching the game these on screens big and small up and down the country. this is the scene live now in sunderland. are you keep as a future relationship with the eu, agreed by the cabinet yesterday. 12
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