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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  May 27, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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anchor: this is al jazeera. these are your top stories. hamas's political leader in gaza is warning of a religious war if israel persists with its policies around occupied east jerusalem and elsewhere in the pastinian territory. he also accused antony blinken of trying to sew palestinian divisions. blinken as been in egypt and jordan after extensive talks with palestinian leaders. it gave a boost to the cease-fire and blinken says he
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hopes to build on that. >> my conversation with his majesty touched on a range of topics including what we need to do together to make -- meet humanitarian reconstruction needs and gaza while ensure the palestinian people benefit from this assistance. we discusseded jordan's essential role as a custodian of holy places and the importance of preserving the holy status quo at sites. jordan also plays a vital role in the west bank as the u.s. re-engages and reopens our consulate in jerusalem. we will have a lot of work to do together as well. anchor: shell has been ordered to double its carbon admission cuts by the end of the decade. environmentalists say it will have implications for energy companies worldwide. the u.n. security council has abused an emergency meeting to call for the immediate release
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of transitional leaders. the president, one of the military officers who led last year's coup d'etat as ousted and arrested the prime minister and president. they are currently being held at a military base. one of his representatives say they have resigned from his -- one of their positions. those are your headlines on al jazeera. the news will continue after the bottom line. ♪ >> hi, i am steve clemons and i have a question. with the intense fighting hopefully over is there hope for real peace between palestinians and israelis? let's get to the bottom line. ♪
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about 30 years ago a norwegian power couple had a crazy notion of basically deciding on their own to bring together palestinian and israeli officials to make a peace deal in oslo. there were formal negotiations already going on but they decided to do their own thing and they actually pulled it off. talking face-to-face was not only blasphemous, it was illegal and america was against it, so everything was done in secret and despite the mistrust, in the end is the historic accords were signed in 1993 with much fanfare. at the time many people thought the deal would lead to sustainable peace after decades of conflict, but as we saw earlier this month the 2 sides are nowhere near and end to the violence of so many people being killed and living in fear and the oslo deal was supposed to be a temporary fix leading to a permanent fix that has expired. we are looking at that deal from 2 let -- angles. the lasting impact on
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palestinians and israelis for good and not so good and at the high drama of secret talks themselves and personal stories of the characters involved. we are joined by one of america's prolific american opera directors -- it is based on the true story of palestinian-israeli negotiations in the norwegian capital and it comes out this week and a palestinian lawyer who served as legal advisor to the palestinian negotiating team back when there used to be negotiations with israel based on the oslo accords and a negotiator for the israeli government who is the israeli author of the geneva accord which was supposed to start when the oslo accords ended and president of the u.s. middle east project. it is an honor to have all of you on board but let me start with the movie that is coming up. raging for decades and i do notn
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know about your timing and other things but you have the story of oslo, how we came together coming out amidst real horror and tension in palestine. what drew you to this story and to telling it now? >> i live in new york and i happen to be friends with -- my daughter, best friend in second grade was the daughter of la rsen, so i would go and sit at soccer matches and hear histories of middle east peace and from my point of view it was extraordinary together in a way and introduced -- to jt rogers. anchor: i do not know if a lot of people know -- generally people know of oslo but when you perform this in new york, tel aviv, other places, london, how
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was it received? is it received as that was a historic anomaly but it is really a disappointment because they did not move forward? >> we did not approach it from one way or another as we were trying to make a point of oslo working or not working. we were telling a history play and trying to tell the story of what happens when 2 enemies come into a room and resolve their conflicts, and that was the basis. when it first came out, most of the audiences were learning about that but talking about democrats and republicans, and when we did it in london all they talked about was brexit, so it was more about the larger question of how to get usually opposing and hateful forces into a room, and is it possible for them to resolve their differences? anchor: let me go to deona and daniel, these individuals negotiated for their governments
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in the wake of oslo. let me ask you, it did oslo, which was supposed to be the high bar -- was it worth the effort back then or did it set up false hopes? how do you look at oslo with regard to where we are today and the role people like you and daniel try to move us forward but we have not moved that far forward. >> for palestinians the issue of oslo is not a documentary film. it is actually a horror movie, and the reason it is a horror movie is because this was not a question of setting the bar but it has changed the course of history for palestinians to the negative. it was not just a question of people coming into a room and sitting down and resolving differences, but it ignored en masse that palestinians have been living under a brutal military occupation and have
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been denied their freedom, so the formulation of oslo we created history and spun law on its head such that palestinians are now forced to negotiate with their oppressor, with their occupier rather than getting the world to put pressure on israel to end that military obligation -- occupation, and the lasting effects of it we feel today, the dividing up of land into various areas to the establishment of the palestinian authority that is not its own independent government to continued settlement, expansion we see to this very day to settler takeovers we are even experiencing now 27 years later to the fact that we have a palestinian authority that has, in effect, served as israel's security subcontractor. these are lasting effects of the accords, it is not producing a positive.
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anchor: daniel, i would love to get your take because you negotiated, you wrote the deal that was supposed to come after oslo and we saw the political rug in israel be ripped right from beneath it as politics and israel moved in a different direction. i am interested not only in how you see that movement -- moment before but as you move forward, what do you see? what are the pieces that can be moved around that can be moved in a better direction? >> thanks, steve. that pulling of the rug were partly for the reasons just outlined for us. whatever the intentionality's of the players at the time that i imagine the movie goes into, in
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retrospect what deanna described it for us is the lived reality of palestinians, and, unfortunately, the flipside of that on the israeli side is oslo kind of scent the signal you could get peace. you could get this without engaging with d occupation, palestinian rights, international law, so in a way the challenge today is to unlearn oslo. how do we definitively draw a line under that and it is important to remember that oslo was supposed to lead to a five-year period by which all of the finest -- final status
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issues, jerusalem settlements, borders, statements had to be resolved. that is coming up to 30 years ago. if anything as past its expiry date it probably stinks to high heaven and that is the reality of oslo. anchor: when you made this film, one of the things that struck me was you brought in real palestinian actors and performers, real is greatly actors and performers, you could see and feel the tension between them as they negotiated this. as they saw all of this, i guess the other element that really intrigues me about the film was that it was such a weird sideshow that everybody needed in that moment, and i am wondering, the breakdown, everybody needed something to
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happen in that moment. i am interested in your insight about this. as you look at the conflict today, do you think there is a prospect of another story out there? i know it is not your field but wondering whether side shots like this are possible in the midst of real horror? >> my sense was that it was meant to be the beginning of a process, so the larger idea of getting people into a room talk is good but there are 2 things about oslo. the principle of getting people into a room to make changes is incredibly valid no matter how you make it but the real challenge is leadership. the kinds of leaders that are willing to make sacrifices for real peace. the idea of oslo is not going to work. it is not just one side or the other and we do not try to argue
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that in the film. there is a huge human rights issue and question that has to be addressed right now and we are only telling a history story. we are not pretending to say something specific about now except at least there was an effort to make change. anchor: one of the people that intrigued me was as in -- was an israeli politician who kept a secret from his boss. daniel worked with his right hand. are there any yosi baylins brewing in the political system today? are there palestinian leaders? we have not had elections for over a decad abbas just delayed the elections again. are there stars rising?
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>> of course, individuals and leadership matters. there are no yosis is the short answer, but the longer answer is those things tend to be contingent. under circumstances of zero accountability for israel and maximum impunity, circumstances guaranteed unfortunately by american policy, foreign policy, under those circumstances yosi baylins are unlikely to emerge, and the crucial thing here is remember that those folks come into a room, and i think the palestinian side did not necessarily represent what it was supposed to represent or play its hand strongly, and the
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israeli side could have been more forward leaning, but they come up against a backdrop of power relationship, and if we do not understand this in the context of an occupying power, if we have not addressed that symmetry, when oslo happened, the bush administration at just done something very unusual. the gulf war had just sent signals to israel and most crucially the palestinians who had just been through this, crucial here is does the powerful party have a reason, and incentive structure -- an incentive structure to drive toward this because of the impunity is afforded? anchor: deanna, i would love to
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hear from you. it seems like that is the rationale for violence, to create costs that become hard for israel to accept and to force action. am i wrong? >> when it comes to this issue of leadership, we have to understand this is a one-way occupation. i am not occupying tel aviv, israel. it is the israelis occupying palestinian territory and that is why it is imperative to get out of this mindset that there needs to be 2 parties. it is one party doing the occupying and another party on the receiving end of that occupation. the lack of leadership comes from the fact that there is no israeli leader that is willing to end its military rule and no international leader willing to
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force israel to end its military rule. when you have a framework in which palestinians are left defenseless with israel taking over their land, their lives, of course people are going to defend themselves, and this is why it is important to really make sure we understand this context. this is not about getting 2 people in a room and shaking hands and throwing away old anger, etc. this is about an ongoing military occupation, the denial of freedom and it is a one-way occupation that israel could easily undo if it took a decision to do that, but it has never taken that political decision, and sadly the international community as never taken that solution either. it has abdicated its responsibility and turn this into a 2 sides. there was one side. anchor: what you just said is
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there is a lot of negligence and demolition internationally. the biden administration as common, succeeded jared kushner's work on the accords, and i have always wondered when the moment would occur when israel-palestine issues were less of a strategic consequence to america. they may be of moral consequence, but when you see other arab states not normalizing with israel with this problem not solved, diana, does that mean this will essentially be a permanent ulcer that gets unresolved? >> i do not think so. we have seen with the trump administration they tried to sweep palestine under the rug, they tried to do away with it. they made sure arab governments ended up normalizing with israel, but let's be clear these are governments, not the people.
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we still see around the world as we saw with the recent bombinto campaign israel carried out against the gaza strip we sought there are millions of supporters around the world pushing for palestinians to be free and pushing for palestinian liberation. they may try to think they can sweep it under the rug, but this simply continues to raise its head. what we are beginning to witness in the words of one of my friends, we are beginning to see cracks in the wall travel of the wall, and it is a question of time before we see international public opinion ends up shifting policy. anchor: daniel, you and i talked about facts on the ground for years and the facts on the ground today, there is a raging conflict. i talked to senator chris murphy today and he admitted our tools
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in this conflict are thinning and getting smaller, not larger. how do you see the facts on the ground? what can be moved? >> i dispute the idea that american leverage is thinning. i think american willingness to use its leverage remains as limited as it ever was. you spoke about the strategic significance to the u.s. in that respect things may well have shifted. strategic significance today is much more the difficulty for a biden administration seeking to say america is back, america is back means we stand up for international laws, human rights, and yet this is how we treat the palestinian situation, israel's denial of palestinian rights. that is a bad look and then there is an internal domestic
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political conversation, something that is shifting, especially inside the democratic party. what i want to make clear, you asked about normalization, and hear something important happened under trump which has changed. trump took the normal playbook, which was not working, and he said i am actually going to accelerate the israeli sense of impunity and take it to a place where the israelis started telling themselves we won. it is just a matter of reading the palestinians the terms of surrender. it was never designed to help the palestinian situation. it accelerated this trend inside israel, and what israel is working up to in this latest
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round of fighting is that it is not just about gaza, it is what happened inside israel itself with palestinian citizens, refugees and others coming to the border. the attempts to defeat them has failed, and the failure of the oslo process means that if we ever circle back to something, and i believe we will, it is just as likely to be more of an equal rights struggle about this physical space israel as created looks like than it is going to be 2 parties like oslo negotiating. that is a line that has shifted. anchor: let me ask you, bart, in your discussions with mona, does she herself think that was a unique moment or does she think there is a role for players
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outside of the classic negotiations camp? the process has not yielded much success. >> i think diplomats in general m likeona -- like mona are always seeking ways -- they were trying to be facilitators of change. anchor: let me ask you about the palestinian side of negotiations for a moment. you worked with someone who died this past year from covid. you introduced me to him years ago. i remember talking to him, he sort of seemed exhausted all the time with the middle east peace business of this ongoing process that would never have been -- an end.
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as you look at the new team of folks trying to move this forward, are there ways to enhance their power at this process? there used to be other nations involved. should the united states pull back and let other stakeholders come in? what are your thoughts about ebbing up palestinian leverage in this process if that is possible? >> we need to move away from the 2 dreaded words, peace process, and be focusing on different mechanisms to hold israel to account to make sure israel pays a price for continuing to deny palestinians their freedom, and this is why what we are seeing now instead of people rushing to get involved in peace process moves are people pushing for boycotts of israel, divestment and economic sanctions to be placed on israel, as well as hold israel legally accountable through the international
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criminal court. we tried that route of the peace process, and all that it yielded was a level of boast -- both sidesism. we are now not at that stage anymore. we are at a stage where people are sitting we have lived for generations under israel's military rule. it is time for us to have our freedom, and if it means pushing for boycotts, divestments, that is the route we are taking and it is just a matter of time before palestinian leadership either folds or ends up taking on that same language and wishes for divestment. anchor: daniel, i went to get the last few seconds to you. if you were to change any of the elements, what would you change? >> what we have been talking
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about, which is accountability and cost reoccupation on the israeli side, because the alternative to violence is not always negotiation. of course you can negotiate the cessation of hostilities but sometimes it is nonviolent protest, generating leverage, sanctioning a side that is violating what it should be held to under international law. that is the missing ingredient of this moment. hopefully in another period it will look different. that is where we are stuck right now, maximum impunity breeds better behavior. anchor: fascinating conversation and sobering. i would like to thank you all for being with us. the former legal advisor to palestinian peace negotiations,
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daniel in london, and with me here at the director of oslo, the feature film which airs this saturday, may 29 on hbo. see it. if anyone were to come around today talking about a durable peace where palestinians and israelis live in -- as equals in freedom and safety people will ask you what are you smoking? that is exactly the kind of thinking by a few people in norway that led to oslo happening. why can't something like that happen again? it came when violence on the ground was raging and neither side wanted to think about these or other side's rights. sound familiar? morally we cannot allow the status quo to continue, and that is the bottom line. ♪
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