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CONNECT THE WORLD
Palestinian-Israeli Conflict; Interview with Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan; Sergio Romero's Heroics Send Argentina To World Cup Final
Aired July 10, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: What you are seeing here is the skies above Jerusalem. We heard sirens go off two minutes ago and the plumes of smoke
are from the interceptors from the military defense system here, the Iron Dome as the Israelis intercept rockets incoming into Jerusalem from Gaza.
Well, the rockets must stop, so says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the threat of a ground assault on Gaza looms large.
I'm Becky Anderson tonight in Jerusalem. This is Connect the World.
And ominous times for regional relations. Tense times here in Jerusalem as we, just two minutes ago, heard these sirens and people
fleeing the streets as they take shelter here in the city.
Coming up, we're going to take you to both sides of the Israel-Gaza border to gauge the mood as the rockets keep flying. We'll speak to
Jordan's Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal about the mediating role his country could play in this standoff and the threat coming from ISIS in Iraq and
And we'll go live to the United Nations as the security council considers ways to curb the crisis.
Well, as those plumes of smoke dissipate over Jerusalem, the deadly aerial volleys continue to rage along the Israel-Gaza border. And neither
Israel nor Hamas appears ready to back down.
Israel's prime minister says the offensive in Gaza will not end until Hamas stops its rocket attacks, but the militant group remains defiant as
we have just seen here in the past couple of minutes as rockets intercepted over the city of Jerusalem. And we've seen evidence of that through the
window here from the bureau.
Earlier, a Hamas spokesman and fighters from its military wing say they are ready to face Israel if it launches a ground offensive in Gaza.
Well, so far the Israeli military has only used air strikes to target Hamas. According to the IDF, it has struck 785 militant sites since
operations began on Monday. Palestinian sources say those air strikes have killed at least 80 people.
Well, CNN is covering the conflict, as you would imagine from both sides of the Israeli-Gaza border. Diana Magnay is in Kibbutz Saad on the
Isreali side of the border, and Ben Wedeman is in Beit Hanoun, Gaza for us. And we're going to start, Ben, with you.
What are you hearing and seeing?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually today, Becky, I went from the far north to the far south of Gaza and back again.
And it was surprisingly quiet. In fact, we did see one spot where a missile killed two individuals who were driving motorcycles on the main
highway linking the south with the north, but here in Beit Hanoun just a few minutes ago, we saw four rocket launches -- or rather rockets flying
overhead, some of those may be those that you recently saw intercepted in Jerusalem.
So as is often the pattern here, the evening is when there's a lot of rockets going out and Israeli airstrikes going in.
Now in this town of Beit Hanoun in particular there was word that the Israelis told the inhabitants to leave the town and leave through a
specific route, however, from where I am I'm seeing lots of people, there are some stores open, lots of families have remained in this town. They
say they have nowhere else to go. So even if there's danger, they'll be sticking it out here in Beit Hanoun -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, thank you for that. Stay with us.
I want to get to Diana Magnay who is on the Israeli side of the border. And Diana, what's the mood like there?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think those four rockets, which Ben saw go over his head came over ours just
We've stood here all day and seen quite a few rockets come over. One of them was hit just the ground in an area a couple of miles to my right.
There was a red alert a couple of miles to my left. Most, or in fact all in anyway have threatened civilian populations have been intercepted by
Of course, the people in Israel are very scared. The air raid sirens sound fairly often. But normal life resumes immediately, and I think there
is a real degree of confidence amongst the Israeli people that Iron Dome is doing what it was designed to do, which is keeping them safe.
The fact that Hamas has clearly got hold of missiles, which have a huge range, this M-302, which the Israeli defense forces say was
manufactured in Syria, shipped from Iran to Hamas, has a range of 160 kilometers. That makes it far more difficult for Iron Dome to operate,
because it has to cover a much wider radius of Israel.
And although it is an extremely effective missile defense system, it doesn't yet have the entire country under its dome, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right, Di, thank you for that.
Let me get back to Ben Wedeman.
Ben, just want our viewers to get a couple of quotes that have been doing the rounds here today. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
calling the offensive -- or saying that the offensive would be expanded and will continue until, and I quote, "the firing at our communities stops and
We've had the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at a news conference in Beijing where he is at present saying, "the United States
supports Israel's right to defend itself and that a de-escalation depends n Hamas actions."
I'm wondering in Gaza just how well supported Hamas is by people living there in Hamas ' efforts to really wage war with Israel as Israel
wages war with it at present.
What's the support for the Hamas militant wing at this point?
WEDEMAN: Well, certainly before this current flare-up, Becky, support was waning for Hamas. There are severe economic problems. You see, for
instance, the tunnels -- we were down in Rafaa (ph) today, the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, which used to be the lifeblood for this place,
goods coming in, goods coming out, those are all closed. So the economy is essentially at a standstill and many people did blame Hamas.
However, now there's a different sort of process going on, a different atmosphere. People are increasingly angry at the level of bloodshed on
this side, at the level of civilian casualties and fatalities, and it's not so much a Hamas -- it's not seen as Hamas's war, increasingly many people
here see it as their war.
Let's keep in mind that of course this didn't begin just a few weeks ago, many people in Gaza -- in fact, 80 percent of the inhabitants of Gaza
are the descendants of Palestinian refugees. So there's a long history to this conflict. And certainly when they feel that they are under fire by
Israel, by the Israeli army, by the Israeli air force there is this sort of visceral reaction of anger toward Israel for that even though there are
some who complain that Hamas has really just landed them in a real tight spot at the moment.
I'm just hearing planes overhead at this moment. We could be getting that response to those earlier rockets that were fired out of this area.
Listen, a couple of things, the Palestinian prime minister, Ben, has said, and I quote, "what the government of the Israeli occupation is doing,
air striking civilians, children in their homes, is a war crime par excellence. This is contravention of all laws and international
regulations, most notably the Geneva Convention."
As this rhetoric continues back and forth, we explain what the Israeli prime minister has said just in the past couple of hours. I've just read
out what the Palestinian prime minister has said and the reaction from John Kerry, this diplomatic rhetoric as it were continues. Men, women and
children are dying in this conflict. And they are on the Gaza side of this border, aren't they?
WEDEMAN: Yes. And let's keep in mind whereas Israel is well defended with this very high tech Iron Dome system, every house in Israel in theory
by law has to have a safe room, a reinforced room. There are plenty of bomb shelters around, here in Gaza, there is no Iron Dome. There are no
bomb shelters to the best of my knowledge. And certainly most of these houses are breeze block -- made out of breeze block (ph).
And I was in one house yesterday very close to the border with Israel, front line area where rockets are fired from and the Israelis respond to.
And I said do you have a safe room? Do you have a spot in this house where you can hide?
And he said, look, it's a small house. We're 15 people. I just tell my kids go hide in the corner.
So, there certainly is the impression here that there's a great inequality -- inequality between the lives people live here, the risks
they're running, the dangers to them and the situation in Israel where despite three days of fighting there's been not on fatality -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Just briefly, Ben, because I want to move on to Iraq, where there has been news today. I know that you've been with people who have
received telephone calls from the Israelis saying that they will target their homes and they do give them an opportunity to leave those homes. The
Israelis will say those homes are harboring militants. You and I well aware that they may also be men, women and older -- men, women and children
in their homes.
Can you just explain the sort of calls that have been related to you?
WEDEMAN: Well, of course this is what the Israelis called a knock on the roof. This is a call that's made five minutes, or sometimes more, to
somebody within the house, usually a woman, to warn them that the house is about to be hit and to get out.
But one of those houses that was hit in Hanunis (ph), and we went there, apparently the call was made, the family left and then nothing
happened for awhile and then they went back and the house got hit, seven people were killed.
And even in the Israeli media, Israel apparently is acknowledging that that mistake was made.
Now Israel says that this is in order to avoid civilian casualties, but, you know, in the fog of war mistakes are made keeping in mind also
that Gaza is very crowded. There are about 1.6 to 1.7 million people living in a very small area. And inhabited areas tend to be quite compact
and full of people.
In fact, I'll tell you what, Alessandro (ph), let me just show you. We're on this street. We've been here maybe 10 minutes. And we are
surrounded by people. They've been very kind and polite to get behind the camera so it doesn't interfere with the shot, but there are many people
here. And therefore if a rocket is fired into an area like this there's a very high chance that somebody is going to get hurt and oftentimes somebody
who has nothing to do with these -- the fighting at the moment, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah. Yeah. All right. No, you make a very good point.
All right, Ben, talk to you in a bit. Thank you for that for the time being.
We're going to take a broader look at the conflict between Israel and Hamas coming up later in this show.
First, though, as the Middle East crisis deepens, who could be called upon to broker a truce? We'll examine Jordan's potential as a mediator.
And we ask Jordan's Prince Hassan bin Talal about his country's ability to act as a go between when it's facing its own threats abroad.
And later, we look at what the UN can do to deescalate this crisis.
At the UN is our very own Richard Roth.
Also ahead, then there were two. After weeks of football magic, we now know who will be competing at the World Cup final. All that and more
when Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson returns. Do stay with us. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Live from Jerusalem at another very trying time for this
region. Welcome back.
Just some 15 minutes ago sirens going off in Jerusalem. And the plumes of smoke from the Iron Dome, which is the military defense system
clearly set up outside the city intercepting incoming rocket fire from Gaza.
Conflict between Israel and Gaza is only one of a number of issues, though, putting pressure on this part of the world right now. That means
mounting problems for a country that has traditionally been seen as an oasis of calm amid all this turmoil, and that is Jordan. It's finding
itself buffeted on all sides, susceptible to the effects of war in Syria as well as the crisis in Iraq.
for example, just consider this, Jordan is hosting more than half a million Syrian refugees at president. and that costs around $3 billion a
year. Across Jordan's border with Iraq, there's the risk ISIS could turn its sights west as Sunni militants gain territory.
But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently warned about the threat that is ISIS, also known as ISIL, what it poses to the entire
region. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: ISIL threatens the stability of the entire region and it is a threat also to the United States and to the
west, self-declared. Iraq's neighbors can bolster Iraq's security as well as their own by supporting the formation of an Iraqi government that
represents all Iraqis and also respects Iraq's territorial integrity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, adds to this the latest violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza as one of only two Arab countries to have
signed peace treaties with Israel Jordan has long been important buffer between it and the rest of the Middle East. And that puts it, I've got to
say, in a very sensitive position.
His royal highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal now joining me from Amman in Jordan.
And, sir, thank you for joining us.
Your brother, King Hussein, spent decades trying to broker peace in the Middle East, even in his dying days he was involved in mediating
efforts. And King Abdullah, his son, your nephew, has also been tireless in his efforts to find peace ofttimes in the face of what has been growing
skepticism from some of the other -- some 50 Arab states.
What is your assessment at present of the ratcheting up of this conflict here in the holy land and its potential consequences regionwide?
PRINCE EL HASSAN BIN TALAL, JORDAN: The end of the Palestinian- Israeli talks of course means a vacuum politically in the region. As you've been describing earlier, Becky, there is a generic problem, and that
is conflicts everywhere in the region, strife raging in the region. Over and above that you have the United States and Russia still not getting
their act together, so to speak, in terms of the Ukraine. And Leslie Gelb of the Council of Foreign Relations talking about the importance of a
Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran axis in which Russia will play a prominent profile.
All of this says to me that we're getting back to the formula of the need for lasting peace, which we've called for for over 100 years, if you
will, 1914 to 2014. So I just wonder that against the background of the guns whether or not we can't sit around the table and begin to build a
concept of what needs to be addressed in terms of final status.
I know that is impossible to talk about with over 80 Palestinians killed in Gaza today and what's happening in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere,
but that's basically what you're asking me.
ANDERSON: The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis, as you rightly pointed out, clearly provides Islamic militants an excuse, as far they are
concerned, for their ongoing insurgency, not least the likes of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. And elements of that group, of course, I know are a real
concern to Jordan as well.
How big a threat are they? And what chance of them extending their influence across an even greater swathe of the Middle East unless they are
stopped in their tracks at this point.
TALAL: Well, Daniel (inaudible) who is sharing this program with me will be speaking about Islamic militancy, I assume, in Egypt and also
Egypt's contribution as well as Jordan's to a potential revival of peace talks.
But I think as far as militancy in the region as a whole, when you talk about a country with over 14 percent of the population under the
poverty line, when you talk of a country -- I'm speaking of Jordan today -- which has received the equivalent of 40 million people arriving in Germany,
I mean, we are literally sharing our existential rights with Syrians, with Iraqis, with Palestinians and are really looking for a resilience concept
for the region, resilience means an existential concept for the region whereby people are enabled.
In an article that you wrote recently about western involvement in all of this, you said, and I quote, "the kind of shortsighted series of ill-
advised interventions that we have become accustomed to since the Second World War where every decade has seen one or more Middle Eastern countries
embroiled in protracted conflicts, you say, is unwelcome."
How, then, if at all can the west play a constructive role in all of this?
TALAL: The only way is to pull the rug from under the carpet of the extremists who are basically asking for equality, asking for social
justice. I mean, let's look at this sustainable development goals of this year. Next year is 70 years of the United Nations. We're all talking
about freedom from hunger and I would focus in particular on a non- threatening confidence building measure and that is a regional concept of water management. We're talking in this region of 45 million people about
to be uprooted in Egypt by 2030 by the Mediterranean flooding the Nile Delta. And another 45 million people in Iran.
So I think that the wealth of the region is distant from the human resources of the region. That is to say the Gulf is cocooned from, and
isolated by armies and navies, from the realities of what is happening and the misery that's happening in that part of the world. The west has to
reassess on the basis of region rather than of bilateral interventions.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. We very much appreciate your analysis. As you were just answering that last question, I turned around just believing
I might have heard the sirens here again in Jerusalem, but thankfully that wasn't the case.
But clearly listening to exactly what you were saying as will our viewers have been, sir. We thank you very, very much indeed for joining us
And viewers you can get to CNN.com for a wealth of news and views -- thank you, sir -- about all the developing stories in the Middle East this
week. And if you missed my exclusive interview with the Israeli President Shimon Peres, you can find that and all the top content from Connect the
World on our blog, that is CNN.com/connect.
Live from Jerusalem, this is Connect the World. Coming up, the UN security council scrambling to find a diplomatic response to the escalating
conflict here in the Middle East, that is going on as we speak. We will get to the United Nations for a live report just ahead.
And then away from the region, headed for Rio, Argentina secures a spot in the World Cup final for the first time, can you believe it, in 24
years. A look ahead to that football finale up next.
ANDERSON: This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson live from Jerusalem. Welcome back.
We're going to take you away from the region just for the time being, a pause, a breath as it were, to the World Cup where the 32 competing teams
have been whittled down to two. Argentina defeating The Netherlands in a penalty shootout in their semifinal match Thursday night. And now they
face Germany in Sunday's final. It will be the third time the two teams have gone head to head for the coveted prize.
For more on that, I'm joined by Shasta Darlington who has had a superb month or so covering this in Sao Paulo. It is coming to a close.
And with the game last night there was -- it was not a particularly easy watch, not one of the most exciting games for 90 minutes, but clearly
penalty shootouts in the end are exciting.
It's good to see a South American team lined up for this final, isn't it?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. And I've got to say it was exciting enough for me to lose my voice
shouting. So forgive me here.
It was a long night. It was a long rainy night not only for the two teams on the pitch, but also for the more than 60,000 fans in the stadium.
And it was interesting because a lot of those fans were Brazilians. They bought the tickets before the game they knew who was going to be in the
game. And they were busy rooting against Argentina. Every time Lionel Messi touched the ball boos would go up in the stands and all these
Brazilians yellow Ollanda Ollanda (ph). Of course it was 120 minutes without a goal.
In the penalties, Holland really seemed to sort of fall apart and that's when Argentina took the lead. The stands -- those Argentines in the
stands really erupted in cheers. You could also hear them in Argentina in Buenos Aires where there were thousands of people in the streets watching
the game there as well.
And we had a chance to hear from players from both sides after the game, Becky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGIO ROMERO, ARGENTINA GOALKEEPER (through translator): Good, good. I was calm at the time of the penalty kicks. I felt confident and I
trusted my teammates. Everyone said something different to motivate me, and thanks to god I helped.
ARJEN ROBBEN, DUTCH MIDFIELDER: My feeling about my team is that I'm very proud what we achieved this tournament, how we presented ourselves.
Before the tournament nobody said -- everybody said after the group phase, you will be home. We were the best four. Today we gave our best. I
cannot say anything about my team that we should have done anything better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DARLINGTON: So in the end it was the Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero who was the hero of the night. His picture is now plastered all over
the papers here in Brazil. We're having to look at him, their archrival, taking up the spotlight when they had hoped to make it to the final match
But now it's all about Argentina and Germany. This will be a rematch of the 1990 World Cup. It will -- back then, Germany won, that's the last
time they won. Argentina hasn't won since 1986 when Maradona was their star. So this is going to be an important game for both sides. It's
really been a generation since either of them has won a World Cup. We'll see whether Europe of Latin America pulls ahead, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. It was a shame about Brazil. But listen one South American team in what is a South American World Cup is important.
We've been talking at CNN here about whether this will be Messi's World Cup, given that he has won absolutely everything else. And it has to
be said, he's pretty much dragged that team kicking and screaming into the final. So good for him.
Shasta, we're going to put you out of your misery. Go and have a hot water and lemon and honey and look after yourself and we look forward to
the final. Thank you so much.
The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus the United Nations security council meeting as we speak to tackle the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict. What, though, can the international community actually do to calm the tensions. A live report from the United Nations in
New York coming up.
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, live from Jerusalem this evening. The top stories for you this hour.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel's offensive against Hamas will not end until the rocket attacks are stopped.
Palestinian sources say Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 80 Palestinians since Monday, and Hamas continues to fire rockets at both
southern Israel and, indeed, the city that I am in here in Jerusalem just a half hour or so ago.
Germany has expelled a US intelligence official following two suspected cases of American spying. Relations between the two countries
were already strained over last year's revelation of widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. Iraq says Sunni extremists
have taken control of nearly 40 kilograms of uranium compound from the University of Mosul. A US official told CNN the small amount of uranium is
not weapons grades, so they are not concerned.
And Brazil, the host nation's arch-rivals, Argentina, are headed to the World Cup finals. The South American team defeated the Dutch, the
Netherlands, in a penalty shoot-out in the semifinals on Thursday night. They will now face Germany in the football's best on Sunday.
The UN Security Council is holding an emergency closed meeting on the escalating violence along the Israeli-Gaza border here. The UN Secretary-
General, Ban Ki-moon is calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Richard Roth monitoring events at the UN and joins us now. Anything out of
that meeting as of yet? I know they've been meeting for about an hour. This is important stuff.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: All 15 countries behind closed doors now, maybe we expected a press statement. Look, the
countries have their important secretaries of state and foreign ministers back in capitals who are working the phones and trying to get either a
cease-fire or some type of workable foundation to move forward as the rockets and the killings go on.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations led off the public session saying now is not the time for vengeance, reprisals. He also said
the status quo is unsustainable. The words that are being used by the secretary-general, who has had about six years of handling the Middle East,
certainly on a much more higher level of alarm knowing what could happen here in the region.
The Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, spoke to the Security Council, and he denounced Israel for occupation of his people, terrorizing
them, killing them, and suggesting that they're war crimes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIYAD MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: We call on the Security Council to act now to stop the bleeding in occupied Palestine,
including this latest Israeli war on Gaza, and to revive our dying hopes in the prospects for an end to the occupation, an end to this tragic conflict
and achievement to peace and for the realization of the Palestinian aspirations for their freedom, rights, and justice that have been too-long
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: Israel's ambassador, Ron Prosor, saying look, it's the Hamas group, an entity certainly not recognized by the UN, which is lobbing these
missiles into Israel. That's what's fueling all of this violence. The ambassador even used sound effects to make his case inside the Security
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON PROSOR, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: In the last three days, 442 rockets have been fired into Israel, that's one every ten minutes.
(AIR RAID SIREN)
PROSOR: Fifteen seconds, that's how much time you have to run for your life. Imagine having only 15 seconds to find a bomb shelter. Now,
imagine doing it with small children or elderly parents or an ailing friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: Later, the Saudi and Kuwaiti ambassadors told the press, don't be, quote, "fooled" by these acting or antics by the Israeli ambassador,
denouncing the violence committed by Israel, according to those countries. Becky, back to you. It seems like we've been doing reports on the Middle
East and the UN for a long time now.
ANDERSON: Yes. Richard, interesting, when the Israeli ambassador was speaking to the fact that the Israelis are given just 15 seconds to find
themselves a bomb shelter. The Palestinians will say, of course, that they don't have bomb shelters.
And even though this "knock on the roof," as it's described, this call that the Israelis will make to targeted properties, where they believe that
terrorists are being housed, many of the Palestinians don't make it out of these properties before bombs hit their properties, and if they do, they
don't have shelters to go to.
Listen, yesterday, I spoke with Mustafa Barghouti, who is a member -- a Palestinian member of parliament, Richard. He said he was disappointed
with the international community's lack of urgency to resolve the crisis. Have a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: I don't think the Security Council is working fast enough or hard enough, and I think the
United States in particular holds a very serious responsibility here.
The only way to stop them is for countries like the United States and international community to immediately put pressure on Mr. Netanyahu to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, Richard, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us, because that meeting may
produce some tangible results on the ground here.
But in the past, these flare-ups have mainly been resolved only when regional actors have gotten involved. This time around, though, those
regional players may not have the same capacity or political will to lead.
One key player, of course, is Egypt, here. I was in Cairo earlier this week, and I asked the foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry about his
government's role so far. We'll talk to our guest forthcoming, but have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Egypt has been strangely silent, for example, with regard to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians of late. What's
Egypt's position on that crisis?
SAMEH HASSAN SHOUKRY, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I'd hardly say we were silent. I think we've issued no less than four statements related
to the issue, calling on both parties to show restraint and to reengage on the negotiating track.
We've been also instrumental in keeping the channels of communications open between those in Gaza and the Israeli government, trying to contain
the rise in violence there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Yes, but beyond statements, what can regional players do? Well, for that, I'm joined by the former US ambassador to Israel and Egypt.
Daniel Kurtzer joins us live from Princeton, New Jersey.
Now, we know that the UN secretary-general actually called the Egyptian president earlier, clearly appealing for help in all of this. The
Egyptians have played a major role in mediating efforts for cease-fires and peace in the past, not least, Mohamed Morsy, the deposed president back in
2012, and then Mubarak back in the day. What prospect, though, el-Sisi will be the man to weigh in here, do you think?
DANIEL KURTZER, FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL AND EGYPT: Well, I think the Egyptians will be prepared to intervene diplomatically, but only
when they think that there's going to be success. Both Hamas and Israel are very intent upon inflicting as much as damage as possible on each other
right now. Fatigue has not yet set in. There's a question of whether the Israelis will conduct a ground war.
And I don't think the Egyptians are going to rush in with the prospect of failure. And therefore, there has to be some will on the part of the
parties to the conflict before the Egyptians or Turks --
KURTZER: -- or the United States could get involved.
ANDERSON: All right. Because there has been Turkey of the -- Turkey in the past, of course. It's acted as a go-between the two sides. But I
guess ties between Ankara and Tel Aviv haven't normalized since the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound aid ship, Mavi Marmara in May of 2010.
Listen, we know that the Security Council is meeting at present. They're behind closed doors. If you were to have a stab at guessing what
sort of statement will come out of the international community today, what will it be?
KURTZER: Well, I think the opening position of the Western members of the Council will be very strongly supportive of Israel and condemnatory of
Hamas's firing of rockets. It will also probably have some balance in it so far as prompting -- asking Israel to stop attacking targets in which
there are civilian casualties.
But that's where the wrangling is going to be. The Arab members and the supporters of the Palestinians in the Council will want to see a very
balanced statement, and I think the United States and others will want to see something that's more critical of Hamas.
ANDERSON: Are you disappointed with what the States has or hasn't achieved here in the end? John Kerry was unsuccessful, wasn't he? Very
KURTZER: I'm very disappointed at the failure of the peace process that's contributed to this atmosphere, and I just hope that Secretary Kerry
finds the right time to come back in.
ANDERSON: And with that, sir, we will leave it. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. We are running short on time at present.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. A reminder: at the top of this hour, as we went to the show, we heard sirens going off here in
Jerusalem. I've just had word from the IDF, four incoming rockets from Gaza to Jerusalem in the last half hour, two were intercepted by the Iron
Dome military defense system. Two landed in open ground.
This continues. We will have another special edition of the program from Jerusalem tomorrow. Do stay tuned. MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST is coming
up after this short break. From me, it's a very good night, and we'll have the headlines for you, though, at the top of the hour.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: This week on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, a special report on youth unemployment from Jordan. The region has the highest rate
in the world, so we explore training programs that take youth off the streets and prepare them for the real world.
Welcome to this special edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Amman, where we're dealing with one of the most vital issues in
the region today, and that is youth unemployment.
For example, here in Jordan, one out of four young Jordanians is without a job. And it's been that way for years, exacerbated now by a
refugee crisis in neighboring Syria, and also violence in Iraq.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): In this tiny auto repair shop, one finds a partial solution to sky-high youth unemployment. Twenty-three-year-old
Khalil Anwar can now fix his sights on a career after a year-long apprenticeship program.
The shop is one of more than a dozen on the aptly-named Middle East Street in Amman, where he is couched by his owner.
KHALIL ANWAR, AUTO APPRENTICE (through translator): I benefited a lot from it, how to monitor a car, using an electronic device. How to fill the
gas correctly and how to fix the damaged cars, things like that.
DEFTERIOS: After years of debate on how to lift up the most vulnerable, training programs are targeting the informal economy, small
businesses that need qualified workers. This is a regional challenge. Youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa is running above 27
percent, the highest in the world. Jordan's is slightly above that average.
DEFTERIOS: And the government has allocated ample resources to reverse this trend. According to the World Bank, some 10 percent of GDP
for the last two decades. But the challenge is, closing the gap between what happens in the classroom and what is needed by industry.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): This is where Yasser Ali of the International Labor Organization comes into the picture. For their auto academy pilot
program, the ILO brought together trade unions and private sector companies to see what is needed in the labor market.
YASSER ALI, PROJECT COORDINATOR, ILO: Thinking like this can make a step forward in order to address youth employment. But it needs
involvement of all partners in this process.
DEFTERIOS: And the early results are promising. Trainer and mentor Youssef Rahal said he's taught nearly 200 students, with a placement rate
of 89 percent.
YOUSSEF RAHAL, TRAINER, AUTO TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY (through translator): The drastic change in the students that come to us with no skills, they're
either dropouts or only have high school degrees. They are 17, 18, 19, 20 years old.
DEFTERIOS: In a rural Bedouin area outside Amman called Mafraq, there is groundbreaking work taking place inside this bright orange community
center. Up to 50 women, many who have not held jobs before, are being trained to work in a textile factory that is being built nearby.
TAHANI SALAMA, TRAINEE (through translator): Everything is provided. Most importantly is the safe transportation.
RUWAIDA THAMRI, TRAINEE (through translator): I met new people and I learned how to interact better with my manager and with my colleagues.
DEFTERIOS: The Jordan Career and Education Foundation, or JCEF, is an organization that deals with skills training and job placement. I had a
chance to talk to the CEO and ask her what needs to be done urgently.
MAYYADA ABU JABER, CEO, JCEF: Most important, to get the private sector engaged in the training. Because the youth have really got tired
from education systems that do not get the labor market, training programs that are just training without seeing the end. So, I think that when the
private sector is engaged and there are committed jobs, I think that's the real solution for all the employment.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): You hear this complaint on both sides. The educators saying the private sector's not engaged, and the private sector
suggesting the educators don't give us what we need. How do you close that gap?
JABER: You know something? When we did our employment studies in Jordan, the employment -- unemployment turned out to be the orphan child.
Because the private sector would point to academia saying, it's your problem. And academia says, it's your problem. But the reality is, it's
all of us. It's the responsibility of all of us.
DEFTERIOS: In ten years' time, do you think we'll still have about one out of four youth still without a job, after all this work and people
talking about it and plugging away for the better part of a decade?
JABER: Well, I am sure that the way we are working now with movement forward, with the private-public partnership, learning from best practices.
In the States, for example, the education system is very-much linked to the private sector. Students do projects in university that are linked.
Looking at the German model, learning from best practices, applying it here, I think we will be -- I think things should look good in ten years,
DEFTERIOS: When MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST continues, I go one-on-one with the minister of labor and some of his policy ideas, and why the battle
against youth unemployment might be lost because of the refugee crisis in neighboring Syria.
DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Amman. Youth unemployment is not a new subject, but it is stubbornly high
here in Jordan. The Arab Spring hit investment, and the Syrian civil war sparked a refugee crisis.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): It is a complex issue for the nation, with a population of almost 8 million. The Jordanian government says
approximately 1.2 million Syrians have fled from their country and entered into Jordan. According to the UNHCR, more than half have claimed refugee
status and need shelter.
The UNHCR has also registered 29,000 Iraqi refugees. This number is set to rise if the ongoing destabilization continues. About 5,000 people
from other countries have crossed the border into Jordan also seeking sanctuary.
I asked the Jordanian labor minister if it's possible to make a dent in unemployment in indeed this is the medium-term scenario.
NIDAL KATAMINE, JORDANIAN MINISTER OF LABOR: The problem is when you have a lot of sudden increase of population into the country, vis-a-vis the
refugees that we're receiving from Syria, and prior to that, the existing economic situation going on via the Arab Spring in neighboring countries.
That has definitely increased the number of foreign labor force in the country.
Hence, your strategies have to be all the time readjusted. But it's very to keep maintaining a strategy that would reduce figures in view of
this very unusual phenomenon as it were.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): Let's get blunt. Is the West, in your view, or the industrialized world, not doing enough to assist in this transition
because of the Syrian crisis, and again the bubbling of the Iraqi crisis and the influence it has and the strains on the jobless, particularly youth
unemployment in your country?
KATAMINE: To be very frank with you, I think the West is looking into it and trying to do something, but in effect, they're not really doing
enough to support Jordan in this disaster, as it were. This is a disaster that is happening in the region, and Jordan is taking the thrust of it.
Now, we've been trying to reach out to the donors and the rest of the world. We've received a lot of promises. We received a lots of pats on
the back, but unfortunately, we have not really received real support. And we're very, very, very disappointed at this stage.
As a minister of labor, I made my voice clear last year into the ILO, the International Labour Organization, and I keep for assistance. Because
ultimately, you need to help the people who are on the ground here, who are require training or require to be adjusted within a new society and also
not to influence the existing labor society that they were hosting it. So --
DEFTERIOS: Well, if you have nearly one out of four youth unemployed, and you have a Syrian refugee come in or an Iraqi refugee come in, what
happens? Do they undercut the existing wages that are there? This is the tension on the street?
KATAMINE: If I just give you an idea of the scale of the problem and the magnitude, imagine that all of Canada has just visited the USA. This
is how it is now for us vis-a-vis the receipt of refugees alone, let alone the neighboring countries, like Egypt, like Asians, like -- it is very
tough for us. It is affecting our labor force.
Unfortunately, those who are living in Jordan as refugees, they are looking for any work that could actually cover their expenses, and
therefore, the reduced wages is attracting the labor market, and obviously, that is definitely influencing the figures in Jordan.
DEFTERIOS: A critical issue is the role of the private sector. The private sector has been complaining for years they don't like what comes
out of the education system because they have to retrain the workers. Should they stop complaining and actually be more active at the front line
of the challenge?
KATAMINE: I think in Jordan, we have not succeeded in the past to do the proper mismatch. And I think even the developed world is facing
problems, and I feel that, for example, the body which is responsible for unemployment in the rest of the world is all the Ministries of Labor, which
is not true, which should not be the case.
Each ministry in relation to its own specific tasks should be responsible for that particular sector of unemployment. For example, the
Ministry of Health should be responsible for the unemployment figures, and they should be doing the mismatch or the match between the graduates of the
health sector, and how could it actually fill into the jobs that are available in the market.
So, I think there is an overall comprehensive picture that should be looked into rather than just looking into it from an aggregate point of
DEFTERIOS: I'd like to take it to a personal level. You're a father of three, two are training to be solicitors or attorneys in the UK. Would
you welcome them back and say there's enough opportunity for you in our home market? Or is it just a pipe dream or an emotional desire, but not a
KATAMINE: To be honest with you, I think I would definitely like them to carry on working in Jordan. Still, wherever you go, there is a
challenge for every individual, even if you want to go find a job in the UK, you still have to compete with a lot of challenges, compete with a lot
of those who have, probably, better qualifications than yourselves.
And therefore, even in Jordan, you still have to compete, and I think it's only making Jordanians stronger to try to present themselves to the
labor market to represent themselves with more communication skills and more experiences. And obviously, I don't think I should worry about them
finding a job in Jordan if they are qualified.
DEFTERIOS: And for more about the program, visit our website, cnn.com/mme. You can reach out and message us on Facebook and find me on
Twitter as well. And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Jordan. I'm John Defterios, thanks for watching.
We'll see you next week.