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Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty; Special Counsel Investigation of Russian Interference in The 2016 Election; The Women of the Intifada; Palestinian Women Story Told in New Film, "Naila and the Uprising"; The Life and Career of Alan Alda. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired September 14, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're been watching coverage of the Florence Hurricane battering the Carolina
Shores. And CNN will stay with this story. But up next is "Amanpour".
Hello, everyone, welcome to the program. And here is what's coming up next.
As Paul Manafort pleads guilty, we explore uncharted, unsettled legal questions about a sitting president and the law. Veteran professor, Alan
Dershowitz, and his former student, Jeff Toobin, hammer out their opposing views.
Then, a forgotten story. The Palestinian women who led the First Intifada only to be cut out of the peace process by their own leaders. A new film
"Naila and the Uprising" tells their story at last.
Also, today, our Michel Martin talks to an American legend, award-winning actor, writer and director, Alan Alda, on finding meaning in a creative
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
A major development in the Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. After holding out thus far, the former
Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, pleads guilty to two conspiracy charges and he agrees to cooperate with the Mueller team.
The White House says Manafort's agreement has nothing to do with the president. Manafort stands at the nexus of Russian influence and the Trump
campaign. He has extensive contacts in Russia and inside Russia's sphere of influence, and was there for the Trump Tower meeting of 2016.
And we're going to discuss all of this with two important legal minds, Alan Dershowitz, the veteran Civil Liberties lawyer and longtime Harvard
professor questions whether there should even be a special counsel at all. His new book, in fact, is called, "The Case Against Impeaching Trump."
And chief CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who served on the special prosecutor's investigation at the Iran-Contra affair all those years ago,
and was a student of Dershowitz at Harvard. He says the investigation is the best way to ferret out the truth.
Alan Dershowitz and Jeffrey Toobin, welcome to the program.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Thank you. You know, I don't want to gush, but I have been such a fan of yours for years.
So, it's a thrill for me to be on your show.
AMANPOUR: Well, is it thrill to see one of the president's closest advisers now plead guilty and agree to cooperate with the special counsel?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, look, if he comes up with evidence of crime, that's a good thing. I'm not a Trump supporter, I'm not an advocate for Trump. I'm
an advocate for making sure there is enough evidence to charge anybody with criminal actions and that we don't criminalize political differences based
on noncriminal conduct.
So, I have no dog in this fight. And if he can come up with evidence that's probative, it's a good thing and it should be handed over to the
Southern District of New York, whoever is investigating it and let the chips fall where they may.
AMANPOUR: Do you think as the White House says that this has nothing to do with the president, Jeff?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: No, absolutely not. I think that's preposterous. I mean, whether it leads to criminal behavior or
disclosure of criminal behavior, whether it leads to impeachment is very much an open question and it may not.
But the idea that Paul Manafort is some stranger and this case is entirely unrelated to the Trump campaign is just silly.
DERSHOWITZ: I agree.
AMANPOUR: What about the fact that we know, because they say is, that the Trump legal team and the Manafort legal team are talking to each other?
So, do they not know, all of them, what actually is in the substance of what perhaps he's going to say?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, it's inevitable if they would talk to each other. If the Manafort team was willing to talk to the Trump team, any good lawyer
would want to make sure they know in advance what might be disclosed.
Now, whether Manafort is telling the Trump team everything or whether or not he is going to sing bloominously (ph) or as Judge Ellis put it, not
only sing but perhaps compose because people know they get a better deal sometimes if they can elaborate on the story and make it a little bit
better fit the narrative of the prosecutor.
I'm not suggesting that's what's happening here but there's always the risk of that. So, of course, you're going to have this kind of contact.
TOOBIN: And there's certainly was that kind of contact in the past, but a lot of things have changed. I mean, remember, Paul Manafort went to trial
in Virginia, his deputy, Rick Gates, testified against him and his lawyer spent all this time of accusing Rick Gates of lying, of making things up.
He has now confessed that Rick Gates was telling the truth.
So, Manafort's position has changed. And it may well be that what he told -- what his lawyers told the Trump lawyers is no longer operative. So,
time -- you know, and so, the fact is that it doesn't matter that --
AMANPOUR: Should the president be feeling nervous?
DERSHOWITZ: Of course, he should be feeling nervous. But remember, too, that what's changed is Manafort's credibility. Manafort has now admitted
he has lied repeatedly and therefore, is not the most useful eye or ear witness. He is very useful in providing investigators with self-
corroborating information. But putting him on the stand would be risky because he's obviously admitted to being a liar and he's now made a deal,
but he could perhaps provide information that's self-proving, and that's what they're looking for.
AMANPOUR: And we're all trying to figure out why he's decided to come to this. His lawyer was heard saying coming out of the court today that, I'm
paraphrasing now, that this is a sad day for Mr. Manafort and his family. However, he just wants to make sure he and his family, particularly his
family, can live safely.
Do you think -- what does that say to you? Do you think he's being threatened and by who?
TOOBIN: You know, Alan will know this as a former -- current, forgive me, criminal attorney. Manafort's strategy was bizarre. If you're going to
plead guilty and cooperate, you should do it at the beginning.
TOOBIN: You shouldn't go to trial and then cooperate because you don't get as much benefit out of it. So, you know -- but criminal defendants are
human beings and they are people who have trouble coming to terms with what they've done, they lie to their lawyers, they lie to their families. So --
but as a rational matter, he should have done it earlier if he was going do it at all.
DERSHOWITZ: But he may have been waiting to see whether he's being offered a pardon.
AMANPOUR: Right, right.
DERSHOWITZ: So, he is -- was in the process of negotiating, putting his finger up to the wind, saying, "I am for sale or at least for rent. Who's
going to be the highest bidder?"
AMANPOUR: Well, let's put this tweet because in late August President Trump said, "I feel very badly for poor Manafort and his wonderful family."
"Justice," he said in quotes, took a 12-year-old old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him. And unlike Michael Cohen, he
refused to "break" make up stories in order to get a deal. Such respect for a brave man. That's what President Trump is saying.
AMANPOUR: So, could he, at any -- what is the process? Can he just pardon Manafort at any time?
DERSHOWITZ: Of course. But --
TOOBIN: Need to do it today.
DERSHOWITZ: -- to paraphrase --
DERSHOWITZ: -- to paraphrase what my brilliant former student said, maybe the president waited too long, that is if he was going to pardon, maybe he
should have pardoned even before he went to trial on the first case. But now, it's too late.
First of all, if he pardons him, then he doesn't have a Fifth Amendment and he can be called in front of the grand jury and he can be made to testify.
AMANPOUR: He being?
DERSHOWITZ: He being Manafort.
TOOBIN: Yes. This is a very important point that I think most people who are not lawyers don't understand, is that if you get a pardon or if you
have already been convicted and pleaded guilty, you no longer have a Fifth Amendment privilege.
So, they can put him in front of the grand jury whether he gets a pardon or not. So, in that respect, it really is too late for a pardon to make much
DERSHOWITZ: But there is a limitation on that. That is, because we have a system of Federalism, he could still plead, the Fifth on the ground that
his testimony might tend to incriminate him in the state courts or in front of another Federal District but it's a very limited Fifth Amendment.
AMANPOUR: Just on the big overarching case about collusion, which is essentially what this is all about. We've said Manafort is at the nexus,
he was at the famous Trump Tower meeting, he's had contracts with these people, Oleg Deripaska and all the others, right. So, I would like to know
whether you think it's going to focus on that issue.
Rudy Giuliani who is the president's lawyer, unlike yourself, Alan --
DERSHOWITZ: Right, right.
AMANPOUR: -- said immediately today after the guilty, "Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President
Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason, the president did nothing. Signed, Rudy Giuliani, Counsel to the president." And you've said
Giuliani's main task is, you know, spinning whatever happens into positive news for the president.
Can today be spun into positive news for the president?
TOOBIN: Absolutely not. I mean, it can't be -- you know, it may not be disastrous, presidency threatening news, but the idea that its good news is
DERSHOWITZ: Especially the meeting in the Trump Tower. Because that's where Trump's son is vulnerable because of his testimony. For example, if
he could -- this is a hypothetical, but if he could provide evidence that Trump and his son knew about the purpose of the meeting before it happened,
that would create some vulnerability to the side (ph).
TOOBIN: Just remember about the big picture of this investigation. Mueller has charged that the Russians in two separate criminal
conspiracies, one involving social media, Facebook and company, one involving the hacking, made illegal efforts to help the Trump campaign.
We know all also that the Trump campaign was very solicitous of Russia changing the Republican platform, you know, and the president speaking very
fondly of President Putin. What we don't have is legal proof of a connection between the two. And that's a question that will certainly be
asked to Paul Manafort.
DERSHOWITZ: And to put the best picture on it from the Trump point of view, remember, for it to be an impeachable offense it has to be a crime,
in my view, committed while he was president.
So, if Manafort has information about Mr. Trump, Donald Trump, as a businessman might be useful to the Southern District but not an impeachable
offense. The hard question that I would thought, Jeffrey if he had my class and if we were teaching it today, would be whether or not a crime
committed to help somebody get elected president before he was president is or isn't an impeachable offense, that is a question the framers never
AMANPOUR: That's pretty interesting.
TOOBIN: It's a very interesting question. But I think what we always have to remember is that impeachment is more of a political process than a legal
process. And Gerald Ford, when he was a member of the House of Representatives, said something that I think it is an exaggeration but has
an element truth to it. He said, "Anything -- an impeachable offense is whatever the House of Representatives thinks it is.
DERSHOWITZ: And Maxine Waters repeated that and said, "After we get Trump, we're going after Pence."
Now, I wrote in my book, "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," I proved through the original intent that was not what the framers had in mind.
They set up a firewall. You have to first find the crime then you get to the political issue of whether you impeach. You just can't impeach for
maladministration. That was absolutely rejected by the framers.
TOOBIN: But remember -- but just -- I mean, whatever Maxine Waters says, the leadership of the Democrats, whether it's Nancy Pelosi or Gerald Nadler
who will be chairman of the judiciary committee, they have not said they are interested in impeachment. And, in fact, quite the opposite.
AMANPOUR: Quite the contrary.
DERSHOWITZ: They have learned the lesson from the Bill Clinton impeachment.
TOOBIN: Yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: OK. So --
DERSHOWITZ: It backfired.
AMANPOUR: So, Alan, you have started by saying you're not president's lawyer, you're not defending the president. But the fact is, you do a lot
on television. You do.
DERSHOWITZ: I do defend the civil liberties of all Americans and I don't stop at the Oval Office. I defended the --
AMANPOUR: Fine. And you've been in to the Oval Office and you've spoken to him. Not on this --
DERSHOWITZ: About Israel. About Israel.
AMANPOUR: I thought about some of this --
DERSHOWITZ: No, no, no, no. We've never had conversation --
DERSHOWITZ: -- in the Oval Office about this.
AMANPOUR: Your principle and you tweeted this about this particular investigation to the president, "Don't fire, don't pardon, don't tweet and
AMANPOUR: Why is that?
DERSHOWITZ: Because every time he tweets he fills in blanks that a prosecutor may have not been able to fill in. He doesn't know what the
prosecutor knows or doesn't know. That's why lawyers try to control their clients. He has the constitutional power to pardon but it would be a
political sin of great, great dimension.
And in terms of pardoning, firing and testifying is a simple thing. You never ever testify if there is somebody who can contradict your testimony,
whether you believe you're telling the truth or not. If somebody else can contradict your testimony, that's what the definition of perjury track is.
TOOBIN: But, Alan, what do you do -- what does he do? And I ask this out of genuine curiosity. He says, "So, I'm not agreeing to testify
voluntarily." Mueller then subpoenas him. He goes -- it goes through the courts and the courts say, perhaps, "You have to testify." What do you do?
DERSHOWITZ: Then you testify. No. Then he testifies.
TOOBIN: Oh, then you don't think he should take the Fifth?
DERSHOWITZ: I don't believe he takes the Fifth.
DERSHOWITZ: No. You know, you and I had that argument before. I predicted that he would not take the Fifth, you said you thought he would
take the Fifth.
TOOBIN: I think he would.
DERSHOWITZ: And we'll have to see.
AMANPOUR: So --
DERSHOWITZ: I don't think it will get to that.
DERSHOWITZ: I don't think it will get to that.
AMANPOUR: The latest reporting, of course, in Bob Woodward's book is about John Dowd, the president's former outside lawyer who quit because he
couldn't convince the president not to do it. There may be written questions and written arguments that might avoid the issue of obstruction
But this is a pretty, pretty inflammatory quote I this book. Quoting John Dowd speaking to President Trump as reported by Bob Woodward, "It's either
that or an orange Trump jumpsuit." I mean, I nearly fell off my chair when I read that.
DERSHOWITZ: Yes. You know, it's been denied. But look, I would have said the same thing to Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton should not have ever
testified about his sex life. There are certain people who simply can't testify about certain subjects, Bill Clinton about his sex life, Donald
Trump about many issues involving his presidency and pre-presidency. You have to know who your client is. And these people should never have been
allowed to testify because they just get themselves into much more trouble.
AMANPOUR: And now, on the big issue, because you seem to be agreeing here on quite a lot of the --
DERSHOWITZ: Too much.
TOOBIN: Too much, I know. We're sorry to disappoint you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Maybe it is too much. Well, no. I'm absolute fascinated by this because the legal stuff is what everyone is trying to get their
around, those you are, in fact, paying attention. I think a lot of the American people have started to tune this out.
DERSHOWITZ: They just pick sides. They just pick sides.
AMANPOUR: Pick sides or tuning it out.
AMANPOUR: But on the issue of the Special Counsel, I think you don't agree with one and you do. And, of course, you were, as I said --
AMANPOUR: -- were on the Iran-Contra special investigation.
TOOBIN: Yes. Well, I mean, there is a reason that for the last four or five decades in American life there has always been a structure in place,
whether it was the independent counsel law or currently the special prosecutor regulations for investigations that touch directly on the
president, to be taken out of the normal justice department chain of command, I think it's the right thing to do. I think it's the only way to
preserve the credibility of the system.
DERSHOWITZ: And it's a tragedy that we have it. Our framers made a terrible mistake. Every other Western democracy divides the attorney
general's job into two. A minister of justice loyal to the president, loyal to the prime minister, a policy adviser and then a director of public
prosecution not loyal to the president. Separate, completely separate. That's the way it is in England, it's the way it is in Israel. So many
We create a schizophrenic job. The attorney general is supposed to be loyal to the president. Kennedy appointed his own brother. Reagan his own
personal lawyer. They want loyalty. But then, when it comes to who to prosecute, they can't demand loyalty, it's an impossible job. That's why
we've needed Special Counsel. But it's a necessary evil at best.
What I called for was an independent nonpartisan commission, like the 9/11 Commission, to look into the role of Russia in our elections so that we can
look forward without necessarily pointing fingers, get all the evidence, make it open and transparent, not behind the close doors of a grand jury,
but we have the Special Counsel now and we have to deal with it.
TOOBIN: But I'm in favor of pointing fingers. I mean, I think if there was criminality and, obviously --
DERSHOWITZ: I agree.
TOOBIN: -- given there, there will be multiple indictments.
AMANPOUR: You both agree with that. It's just the methodology.
TOOBIN: Right. And -- you know, I don't want to speak for Alan but I think Alan thinks that when you set up an independent prosecutor it's like
a hunting license --
DERSHOWITZ: It is.
TOOBIN: -- and they engage in excessive prosecutions.
TOOBIN: And there is --
AMANPOUR: Well, there's certainly --
TOOBIN: And unfortunately, there is a history of prosecutors who are outside the justice department bringing too many cases, taking too long,
spending too much money, I certainly agree, but I wouldn't abolish the process.
DERSHOWITZ: Wouldn't you agree though that if we could change the system and have a permanent independent special -- not even special, just counsel
that's in charge of bringing prosecutions outside of the role of the attorney general, not under the influence of the president, wouldn't that
be a better system?
TOOBIN: Maybe. I don't know. James Madison set up the system and I'm not going to quarrel --
DERSHOWITZ: I will quarrel with James Madison.
AMANPOUR: So, President Trump's administration and his legal woes have brought up the whole issue of presidential power. And that is really
important as we go to the confirmation or the hearings, on the vote, on Kavanaugh.
So, this is what he had to say about the president and subpoenas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Can a sitting president be required to respond to a subpoena?
BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: So, that's a hypothetical question about what would be an elaboration or a difference from U.S. v.
Nixon's precise holding. And I think going with the Justice Ginsberg principle, which is really not the Justice Ginsberg alone principle, it's
everyone's principle on the current Supreme Court and as a matter of the canons of judicious independence, I can't give you an answer on that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Briefly, hypothetical to hear that question?
DERSHOWITZ: Yes. I think he can be made to answer certain questions. I don't think he can be asked why you pardoned somebody. I don't think he
can be asked why do you fired somebody.
TOOBIN: But he meaning the president.
DERSHOWITZ: The president.
DERSHOWITZ: I think just like senators have immunity from prosecution of being questioned about their votes and judges have immunity. The president
has some but not complete immunity. No one is above the law. That is the law.
TOOBIN: This is a major difference between Alan and me, that I think you can look at the motives. And of course, this is a crucial part of this
investigation, particularly as it affects -- relates to the firing of James Comey, the FBI director.
You know, it is my belief that it can be obstruction of justice if the president fired Comey for improper purposes to limit the Russia
DERSHOWITZ: Then why wasn't President Bush indicted or prosecuted for pardoning Caspar Weinberger and five other people for the explicit purpose
of ending the investigation? And that's not me, that's Lawrence Walsh, the special prosecutor, accusing President Bush of specifically pardoning these
people in order to end the investigation and it succeed in ending the investigation. And nobody suggested obstruction of justice.
TOOBIN: It was the last day of his presidency.
DERSHOWITZ: He could have been indicted after he left.
TOOBIN: It --
DERSHOWITZ: The day after he left.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let's move on because a fairly troubling development has occurred in the Brett Kavanaugh case. There is this letter that
apparently the ranking member, Diane Feinstein, Senator Feinstein, received from a lady who has accused Brett Kavanaugh, and a friend of his, of
basically sexual abuse and assault when were 17 years old. So, minors at a high school.
And she has not wanted to come forward. Dianne Feinstein has had this letter since July and it's only this week, just now, handed it over to the
FBI. What do you think -- can this have an effect on the hearings and the confirmation process?
DERSHOWITZ: Only if she comes forward. You cannot allow anonymous reports to derail a nomination. The FBI's investigating it. That's the
appropriate approach. And let's see what the facts are.
AMANPOUR: He's denying it, obviously.
TOOBIN: I agree. However, I think it's worth pointing out that Dianne Feinstein handled this in a way that was unfair to absolutely everyone
involved in the process.
DERSHOWITZ: I agree.
TOOBIN: This was thoroughly incompetent handling of this by Dianne Feinstein. What she should have done is when she got the accusation is
just turn it over to the FBI and let them investigate it. Instead, she sat on it based on her own conclusion that it was not worth pursuing but other
people learned of it, so other people persuaded her to reveal it now near the very last minute. Meaning, it will embarrass this woman even if she
winds up not want to come forward.
It's unfair to Kavanaugh to have an accusation out there with no person attached to it and it's a distortion of the process that people are talking
about this instead of Kavanaugh's effect on the court.
AMANPOUR: Who had a confirmable influence had it come out earlier?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, if the facts justify that --
TOOBIN: Look, the question is --
DERSHOWITZ: -- and its A, do you go back 30-something years? B, do you believe the person? You have to know who she is, who have to know whether
there's corroboration, apparently there is a person she may have it to and the friend says he doesn't remember. That's a very strange response.
AMANPOUR: The friend of Kavanaugh's.
DERSHOWITZ: And so, it could have an impact. Look, when you combine together emotional things like the Me Too movement with the Trump
presidency, with the appointment Kavanaugh, it's amazing it even got to this point because it's an invitation to doing it wrong. And let's hope it
can be done right from now on.
AMANPOUR: So, we started a little bit at the beginning, but mentor, teacher, student --
DERSHOWITZ: Great student.
AMANPOUR: And, you know, you sort of had legal fisticuffs over the years. But --
DERSHOWITZ: It's the essence of democracy. We can talk to each other.
DERSHOWITZ: We're not shunning each other. We're not -- you know, we're talking to each other. He's actually persuaded me on few points. I think
I actually persuaded him on one or two points.
AMANPOUR: Yes. But we'll see.
TOOBIN: At 8:30 in the morning on my first day of -- as a student at Harvard Law School, I walked into Alan's criminal law class. He always
held class early in the morning, which I appreciated, not all students do. But, you know, I've been learning from Alan ever since. And since I've
become a journalist, I've also been covering Alan.
AMANPOUR: Because you both have opposing views on television mostly.
TOOBIN: On certain -- well, I mean -- well, we've certainly disagreed a lot about this more than others. And, you know, I covered the O.J. Simpson
case. Alan was part of the team.
DERSHOWITZ: Because I'm a defense attorney. He's a prosecutor.
TOOBIN: And, you know, Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of -- and one of the things I've always loved about Alan is that he's a very loyal person.
And when Eliot Spitzer got in trouble --
DERSHOWITZ: He was my research.
TOOBIN: -- he was a year ahead of me in law school and an assistant to Alan. And when Eliot got in trouble, Alan was one of the very few people
who stuck up for him. And whether he was right or wrong, I thought it was an act of loyalty.
DERSHOWITZ: I remember one thing very vividly, if I'm remembering correctly, you sat next to a young woman named, I think it was Elena Kagan.
TOOBIN: Elena Kagan.
DERSHOWITZ: And the two of them would talk to each other in class and then I would call on Toobin and I got the sense, maybe Elena had given him some
of the ideas. I don't know.
TOOBIN: Then and now, she knew a hell of a lot more than I did.
AMANPOUR: She's on the supreme court.
TOOBIN: Yes, she is.
AMANPOUR: Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Toobin, thank you so much.
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, as the legal questions multiply in Washington, Americans of both parties are impacting politics like never before. Ordinary people
entering the political arena, taking to the streets, looking to take power away from inside the beltway.
Back in the late 1980s, a similar movement arose in the Middle East. That was when the First Intifada broke out. It was, as its heart, a grassroots
uprising, led largely, we've discovered, by women. That drove Israel in part and Palestine to the negotiating table, publicly in Madrid and
secretly thereafter in Oslo.
The women of the Intifada are often left out of the historical spotlight. But now, their story is being told in the new film "Naila and the Uprising"
which follows the Palestinian insurgency, in Israeli occupied land and the feminist revolution that flourished in protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Filmmaker, Julia Bacha and Rula Salameh, who was a teenage activist in the First Intifada join me to discuss the hidden history of the
Palestinian women. I spoke to them just yesterday on the very 25th anniversary of the Oslo accords that was signed on the White House lawn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Welcome, ladies. Julia here in the studio and Rula out there in Jerusalem.
Let's talk about "Naila and the Uprising" because it brings up so many issues that go way beyond politics and really deserve being remembered at
So, first let me ask you, Julia. You chose to make this film through the eyes of a woman had a small son, husband, family at the time, and actually,
her interviews now are with her son sitting beside her. Why did you choose that vehicle?
JULIA BACHA, DIRECTOR, "NALIA AND THE UPRISING": We wanted to tell the story of what happened during the First Intifada in the late '80s to the
story of the people who had written out of their history, as so often, unfortunately happened in protest movements, where women played leading
roles and organization in the grassroots level, be it the civil rights movement here in the United States or other places historically. And then,
when you tell the story of those movements, you actually celebrate the man and you don't give the credit to the women who actually often pay the
highest price in those movements.
AMANPOUR: You know, it's interesting to use the word celebrate. I'm going to ask you, Rula, because this is actually key to understanding the whole
It's not necessarily just celebrating the man, although many of them are celebrated, but it's the narrative that gets focused on the armed man, the
militant, you know, instead of on whoever, the women, the children, the unarmed men who actually have a human story and human resistance. How does
that sound to you?
RULA SALAMEH, PRODUCER, "NALIA AND THE UPRISING": Most of the men and women we interviewed and we met with even before the film, they were
talking about how women were leading their community and were there on the front lines and they were doing really amazing job during the First
And what was really interesting, the story, is the person on story is that women were bringing and sharing and talking about -- most of the women and
men that we interviewed, they were talking about stories that we never, even in my community, heard about, how they were active inside the house,
outside the house with men in the street trying to be a part of the struggle against the occupation and trying working together next to men.
And nobody really highlight these stories, even my community.
AMANPOUR: And your community, of course, is the Palestinian community. And I just want to just sort of describe what some have said, that this
film and the resistance, the First Intifada, was almost like a double whammy. It was Palestinians against Israeli occupation but it was also
women against male patriarchy.
And it looks, certainly, from a lot of the things, you know, women who you interviewed, even the men, they say its kind of an opportunity for
equality. Let us just play a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, again, it was really interesting. You saw all these instances of how they sewed the flag, how they did all this kind of woman's
work. But then, of course, what did you find out about the real political work on the streets?
BACHA: Yes. The organizing was hidden behind the sort of traditional accepted behavior for women in a sort of more patriarchal society, that
Palestinian society was at that time. And what they were able to do because of that was occupy spaces and do activities and get to places that
the man couldn't. Both because many of them had been arrested and deported and were killed. But also, because men were under higher scrutiny.
And the women came into the leadership of the First Intifada and put in place strategies, very disciplined nonviolent strategies that were focused
on creating the parallel structures that would made it possible for an independent Palestinian State to come into being.
AMANPOUR: So Rula, I know you were a teenager back in the first intifada but the leadership wasn't even there, right, in the west bank. They were
in exile. What was it like? How did you see these grassroots movement take off?
SALAMEH: I think most men and women were involved in the first intifada. We said that this is something that we can be part of. This is something
because this is non-violence movement or non-violence resistant movement and activities, we felt as women, we can be a part of it. It do not need
them any armed man resistance. No need to use weapons. Women can do this even inside their homes while they are with their kids, taking care of
their families. And this is why most women at that time from different ages, they were part of it.
AMANPOUR: So let's just talk about where this First Intifada led because remember, that time Rabin was defense secretary and he very famously talked
about breaking bones of the resistance. But he also then moved towards the political peace process. And in the middle of all of this, there was the
Madrid peace process. You remember that, right?
That took place after the First Gulf War. They sensed an opportunity by then President Bush and drew a lot of the leaders to Madrid. And, again, a
lot of women around that table. Tell me about that particular, Julia, political inflection point.
BACHA: It's a fascinating historical moment because the First Intifada created a political opportunity internationally and here in this country
for someone like President Bush or a Republican, the first Senior, Bush Senior to actually take an action that he was the first president and the
last to ever actually threaten to withhold loan guarantees from Israel if that construction continues.
This was made possible because of these grassroots movement, because the women of Intifada had created a solidarity with the Palestinian struggle
for freedom that we have not been able to see since then. And what then what unfolded was a peace process that initially Madrid and in Washington
actually had a situation where both parties needed something from each other. Where Israel as the sort of more powerful party in this actually
needed something because it had lost credibility in the international state.
The really disappointing development as far as many of the women that we interviewed are concerned is because that diplomatic process that was
promising got interrupted through the secret back channel negotiations of Oslo.
AMANPOUR: And now that is really interesting because so many people speak about Oslo as this amazing thing. But in the issue of women's rights, it
was a little bit difficult. And that brought back Yasser Arafat and all the leadership became the Palestinian authority and that sort of pushed
women out of the way. So here is a clip, Julia about that instance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Rula, out there in Jerusalem, it's impossible not to feel a sense of loss of what the moment could have finally produce. What do you
remember about that moment, when after Oslo, the authority came back and the rights that so many -- not just activists but also particularly women
had gained suddenly were pushed out of the way again?
SALAMEH: We really felt so sad and angry from deep inside that we left aside. Nobody is thinking about us. Men want to take everything. Even
the Palestinian authority is supporting them. The Palestinian leaders who came from Tunisia and different other countries, they just want to take
part of the cake and nobody even among the women leadership, none of them were part of building the Palestinian institution.
Because we felt really really sad, we attend different meetings and we were like writing different letters to President Arafat at that time and to the
Palestinian authority that this is not what we struggle of. We need really to be part of building the Palestinian State. And this is why like a big
number of women NGOs start at that time because we want to take our rights from men, from the Palestinian authority. We represent the 52 percentage
of the Palestinian population as women and we want to do something and we want to show them that we can lead.
AMANPOUR: You have been really trying to get Israeli women, Israeli activists, Palestinian women and activists and people together. How has
this film been seen by the Israelis, for instance, who you've shown it to?
BACHA: Christiane, we have been working for the past 15 years with a team. Rula and I have been partners on this and really wanting to document the
struggle of Palestinian-led and Israeli supported nonviolent resistance against the occupation. And there is a lot of partnership happening
underground in terms of identifying that the rights of one people are tied with the rights of another.
We are working with a lot of journalists underground to really get this film seen as widely as possible at a critical time when Palestinians in
Gaza are also protesting and wanting to be very clear about what is happening. What are people calling for in Gaza? What is the relationship
between that and what happened during the First Intifada? So making connections to the present.
AMANPOUR: What do you hope that this film will do? Do you think it will not change Israeli minds but maybe open Israeli minds and also open more
Palestinian minds about the needs and wants and abilities of each side?
SALAMEH: I think this film is talking about the past but there's a lot of lessons learned from that period and that experience during the First
Intifada that women can do something. We worked with the Israeli women and Israeli NGOs for a while as a Palestinian journalist and as a Palestinian
activist and in many works that I used to do different meetings. But now, it's really difficult since the siege around Gaza, the situation in the
West Bank, about the situation in Israel with the new Israeli government. It's really hard.
Within my community, the Palestinian community, we are doing a lot of screenings in the West Bank, in Jerusalem. And, hopefully, in the coming
week we will be doing the first screening of Naila and the Uprising in Gaza. This is so exciting for us to take the film there. We want the
women in general in my community, in the Palestinian community, to see that -- to empower them.
AMANPOUR: It's a really important message, especially for right now, where divisions could not be more deep. And as you said, has so much hope and
hope of invigorating a whole new generation. Rula Salameh in Jerusalem, Julia Bacha here in New York, thank you both so much for joining us.
A really revealing film.
And now we turn to a famous actor who is communicating a powerful message of his own. Many of you will know Alan Alda as the star of the classic hit
TV Sow "M-A-S-H" playing the lead role Hawkeye Pierce. What you may not know is that Alda, now in his 80s, has spent the past decade channeling his
creativity into the art od communication teaching students at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.
Our Michel Martin sat down with him to talk about his work, coaching people how to communicate complex ideas especially relevant for these divisive
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Alan Alda, thank you so much for joining us.
ALAN ALDA, ACTOR: Thank you.
MARTIN: Gosh, you've done so many things in your life. I mean the people, of course, know you for Hawkeye Pierce and appearing on "M-A-S-H," which is
still, you now, one of the most watched -- the final episode, one of the most watched TV episodes of all time. Many people may not know that you
also wrote many of the episodes.
But you have this whole other life as a student of communication, as a person who's actively trying to help other people communicate better,
particularly in the scientific room but beyond that. So how did that desire to understand the roots of it start for you?
ALDA: It began in my roots as an actor because as an actor, you have to relate to the other person. I mean I learned that as time went on. In the
beginning, it was performing, it was doing something to amaze an audience and get them to pay attention to you and like you. And then I began to
realize it doesn't really happen. They don't really get engaged with what's going on, unless you're engaged with the other performer.
And you mentioned "M-A-S-H." When we were on "M-A-S-H," we would sit around in a circle and talk and laugh and make fun of each other and we got
such a connection as regular people. And when we went on the set, a couple minutes later, we still had that connection. I helped start the Center for
Communicating Science at Stony Brook University because I thought if we teach scientists to make this connection, then whether they're talking to a
live audience or writing for them, they'll be aware of the audience as they're the other player in the conversation.
And that to me, is the basis of communication, is what's going on in your head, not what's going on in my head so much.
MARTIN: One of the things that I found intriguing about the center at Stony Brook University is that you used some of the techniques you learned
as an actor to help scientists to communicate better. Will you talk a little bit about that?
ALDA: We teach them improvisation exercises. A lot of people think improvisation is comedy improvisation but that's not what we teach. We
teach exercises that were embedded first maybe 70 years ago by Viola Spolin who was the mother of Paul Sales who started second city.
So it became eventually comedy but it's not really -- that's not why we teach it. We teach it to establish a connection. And all the exercises
that we do are to maintain that connection with the person you're playing with in the games. And then when you turn to an audience, you make that
same connection with them.
MARTIN: This is obviously a passion project for you. But was there something in particular that sparked your hunger to help people communicate
ALDA: I don't know if there was. It was kind of a rolling discovery. I never expected I'd be teaching communication, writing a book about it.
There were 30 people at the Center for Communicating Science who were teaching all over the United States and in five other countries around the
world. I never expected that but I realized that I had something to offer. And to me, that's the best feeling.
MARTIN: Your podcast, you've got a called Clear and Vivid that you just started this summer. I understand that it grew out of your work, with your
foundation, with the work that you're doing on helping scientists to communicate better. Tell me about what is the goal other than it's hip to
have a podcast these days. I know you want to be hip.
ALDA: I know. There's a wonderful cartoon from the New York that it says -- two people talking, one says, "I'm thinking of stopping a podcast."
It's about this whole subject we've been talking about. The podcast Clear and Vivid is about relating to other people and communicating. And
although it grew out of trying to teach scientists to communicate better, one of the things we found out from the scientists themselves was that it
was applying to everybody, not just scientists.
At least one scientist said, "You know, this training is saving my marriage." Because if you listen better and communicate better, things go a
lot more smoothly. So we found there's almost an endless supply of people, interesting people to talk to, some famous, some not so famous, about
relating and communicating in so many different ways.
For instance, the most striking example to me is talking to, on the program, talking to a hostage negotiator who said, "You know, these same
techniques I use to get a hostage released is very good in a marriage between spouses." It has to do with listening. Over and over, they talk
about the importance of empathy.
MARTIN: One of the things that a lot of people have talked about on the current political moment is that people don't want to talk to people who
don't already agree with them.
ALDA: Yes, that's true. But we're -- I'm talking to people. Look, I talked with Lady Paul Grugen (ph) who has taken groups of women from
Israel, who has groups of women together, who has groups of women from Palestine and they have gone places together and shared experiences and
learned from one another. I talked with George Mitchell who brought peace in Northern Ireland and in both cases they did it by introducing people to
other people who they hated.
MARTIN: I actually have a clip. Do you want to play it? I can play a clip from George Mitchell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. GEORGE MITCHELL, (D) TEXAS: I said listen, we're going to be here. We don't know how long but these are long days and nights. We're going to
eat our meals together. And what I'm asking you is during the meals, don't talk about business. They said, "Well, what are we going to talk about?"
I said we'll talk about your kids, talk about your wives, talk about your dogs, talk about your vacations. What do human beings talk about when
they're not involved in negotiations or trying to end a war? It was awkward at first but then it kind of worked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALDA: And it's over and over again. The funny thing is, it doesn't just work with people you hate. It works with people you love.
MARTIN: Let's talk about people you hate, though. I mean because I've been listening to our conversation so far and I'm thinking I can see easily
where this works in your family circles or in community.
ALDA: We are in a time of tremendous polarization. And just as in George Mitchell's clip, if all we do is stick to talking about things that divide
us, what he called the business, when they sat down at dinner they couldn't talk about business, they had to talk about their children, their dogs,
things where they had an emotional attachment to them. They had an everyday human experience that they could share with the other person as a
Maybe that's a clue for family dinners. Maybe it's a clue for members of Congress. Maybe it's too soon to ask them to go back out and have a beer
together after work. But to stop in the hallway for a minute and talk about something that has nothing to do with business but just who are we as
people, it actually will help us talk to one another regardless of the position we take. You don't have to change the world. You just have to
respect the other person as a person.
MARTIN: I want to play a clip from a conversation you had with Sarah Silverman, the comedian. She's got a program where she's going out and
trying to connect with people who she doesn't necessarily agree with. But one of the things you talked about in your conversation with her was an
exchange she had with a troll. For people who aren't familiar with that term, somebody who connects with you or reaches out to you on social media
for the purpose of being mean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN: I happened to see somebody, she just called me the C-word.
ALDA: And just that one word that was the whole tweet.
SILVERMAN: Yes, simple.
SILVERMAN: I saw his tweets and they were so filled with rage but not about anything in particular, just rage. And them among them was a tweet
about his severe back pain and I saw that he was just in pain which is a lot -- most of -- maybe all of rage comes from pain, you know, physical or
emotional. And so I just tweeted a loving gesture towards him.
ALDA: Do you remember what you said? I remember something like you must have been terribly hurt at some point in your life. Did you say that?
SILVERMAN: Yes. Just something like this is rage that is thinly, very thinly masked pain and my heart breaks for you. But he immediately opened
up. I mean I think he didn't have people in his life that were concerned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN: There's a lot there, isn't there?
ALDA: You know what she end up doing is he said, "I can't show any love that was ripped out of me by an abuser when I was a child." And she helped
him find a place where you get therapy for free, therapy for people who had suffered that same kind of abuse. And I interviewed her in her kitchen,
and she told me, "Oh, just an hour ago I was communicating with this guy again." They're friends now. I think she took a real risk doing that. I
think it shows real courage, but look what you can get if you're lucky and you have that kind of courage.
MARTIN: You've obviously chosen the people you spoke with, with intention, and because you want to us to learn from something. And I'm trying to
figure out now, let's say going back to Charlottesville, Virginia, and the demonstration there and these hundreds of guys, mostly men, with these
torches marching around saying, "Jews will not replace us."
And you can see people looking at that and thinking, "I'm afraid of these people. They don't want me to exist. They don't want my children to exist
or they only want me to exist in a subservient place in their lives. They don't want to understand me. They just want to rule me."
ALDA: Right. It doesn't seem possible. We're not going to meet each other halfway because they don't want us to exist. But just yesterday, I
interviewed Christian Picciolini who was a skinhead for about five years, beat people up mercilessly, believed in the philosophy of those people
marching in Charlottesville.
He had a flash of empathy a couple of times and realized that the people he was beating up were fellow humans and he didn't want to do it anymore.
Little by little he got himself out of the movement and then has spent the rest of his life helping other people get out of the Neo-Nazi movement. He
has helped 200 people get out but you don't collect 200 people in a room and talk to them. It's a person-to-person experience.
MARTIN: And what's your message to the people who feel afraid of people like him? What would you say they should do?
ALDA: Well, I think we have to be cautious about those people. I think that whole movement, and it's in the hundreds of thousands when you look
worldwide. It's a very dangerous movement. We fought a war over that. But before we fight the war, again, people like Christian Picciolini can
make a concerted effort. He has a whole organization that works on this one by one, person-to-person, to find out how you can bring them to human
awareness and then introduce them to the people they think they hate.
MARTIN: What's your suggestion for how we should practice that? Like I walk out of here today, what should I do?
ALDA: Well, what I do -- you have to do what you want to do, but what I do is I try to figure out what people are going through. I happened to have a
brain problem called prosopagnosia which is face blindness, so I don't remember faces. But therefore, it's interesting to be the study of face
and try to really see the person I'm talking to.
And the more I do that, I think the better able I am to know what they're going through. And the more I know what they're going through, therefore
the more empathy I have. And therefore maybe, if I really want to, I can be more compassionate but you have to want to. I don't think empathy makes
I found, and I think I see it in other people, that when you are more empathic, you not only know more about the other person, but you're more
available to things that come up from the back of your head, yourself. You're more aware of your own emotions, your own creative thoughts. I
don't know why that should be but I find it I'm more in touch with myself and not just with the other person.
MARTIN: I noticed that you share a lot about your life and have over the years. I know you shared about growing up with a mom who was struggling
with mental illness and therefore the whole family was. And I noticed that you shared even now that Parkinson's is something that you're living with.
And I wondered as a person who is so well-known, I was thinking about this that social media kind of allows us all to do what celebrities have had to
do which is to be known in some way. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like a trap. Like I don't necessarily want people to know these things
about myself. How do you handle that?
ALDA: Yes, I think there's a difference. There's a distinction to be made. And the distinction between personal and private I think is good. I
didn't mention to anybody I had Parkinson's for three and a half years and then I realized people were going to notice that I had a tremor. When the
first story came out about it, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't the sob story, it wasn't maudlin.
Because one of the problems that I think that people who get diagnosed with it have is that there's the tendency on the part of the whole culture to
think the world has come to an end with that diagnosis but it hasn't. And as a matter of fact, that feeling, that worry that the world has come to an
end and you have to keep it a secret even from yourself and just hope it goes away, you might postpone doing something that can help like an
exercise program and that can hold off worse symptoms for a long time.
I wanted to help get rid of the stigma but I don't want it to be my identity.
MARTIN: I was going to ask exactly. Yes. You don't want to be the poster child.
ALDA: So I don't talk about it. I have to talk about it if somebody asks me.
MARTIN: I cannot help but notice that you and your wife have been married for a long time.
ALDA: Sixty-one years.
MARTIN: Sixty-one years. And congratulations.
ALDA: Yes. Thank you.
MARTIN: I have to give you congratulations and my admiration for that because it is an achievement.
ALDA: It wasn't that hard, believe me.
MARTIN: Well, see, that shows you've been married for a long time. I wonder if your study of communication is something that you attribute in
part the longevity to that. Is it part of your --
ALDA: Well, it gets better and easier the more I think I learn about communication. Arlene's always been great at it. There may be two of most
male/female relationships but I think the basis of this is really that we really do love each other.
So when people say, "What's the secret?" I say well we really love each other. Have you tried that? But she has a whole other take on our long
marriage. Arlene says the secret to a long marriage is a short memory. So maybe I benefited from that.
MARTIN: Alan Alda, thank you so much for talking with me.
ALDA: Thank you. You didn't look at those pages. I loved that. It's so nice.
MARTIN: Well, thank you.
AMANPOUR: Indeed, that was a real conversation and what amazing insights.
And that is it for our program tonight. Thanks for watching.
Remember, you can always watch us online. Goodbye from New York.