president xi is arriving in hong kong for the 20th anniversary of reunification with china. it's his first visit to the city as chinese leader and protests are expected. 26 democracy activists were arrested on wednesday, after occupying a monument to reunification. more than 60 countries have now been hit by the latest wave of cyber the ransomware programme, overwrites computer files. —— attacks which are said to be more sophisticated than before. the ransomware programme, overwrites computer files. and this story is trending on bbc.com. the creator of paddington bear — for generations one of britain's best loved characters — has passed away aged 91. michael bond first introduced the bear from darkest peru to the public in 1958. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur.
on the face of it, israel has achieved a form of stability, led by the same man for eight years, locked in a state of hostile non—communication with the palestinians, and confident in strong support from washington. but dig deeper and cracks appear. prime minister netanyahu is under investigation. israeli society appears ill—at—ease with with itself. my guess is moshe ya'alon, mr netanyahu's former defence minister turned harsh critic. how fragile is israeli unity? moshe ya'alon, welcome to hardtalk.
thank you for having me. it's a pleasure. israel has just marked 50 years since the victory in the six—day war. but you seem to feel, right now, there are very serious questions about the direction israel is going in, and about national cohesion. why are you so worried? from the security point of view, we enjoy, today, a relatively calm situation, security—wise. this is a result of the six—day war, in which i believe it was the peak of the idea of our coalition. since then, the idea of our coalition, these kind of ideologies have been declined,
such as eliminating a state of israel. so it is not an existential security threat that you feel is most concerning to israel today? yes, but you know, anyhow, israel enjoys a vibrant democracy. in one hand, it is shameful that netanyahu is the third prime minister to be investigated because of allegations of corruption. one prime minister is injail. that's the bad news. the good news is that we have a vibrant society. we have law enforcement authorities which are independent, as we can see it. so, it is an internal struggle about... but it is notjust about netanyahu, is it? you said not long ago — this caused a stir in israel — you said, "to my great sorrow, extremist and dangerous elements have taken over israel, and, in particular, the likud party, and are shaking the foundations of country and threatening
to hurt its residents." those are very powerful words. it is. and i had too many disputes before my decision to resign from the government, because of certain trends which i didn't like. extremism? you see that in your own government that you loyally served for seven years? that's — that's right. but you know, it is a vibrant society. i have the culpability to deal with it, to criticise the government. you have also the responsibility to be clear about what you mean. so i want you to tell me exactly what you mean by this extremism that you see inside the israeli government. from the internal point of view, because of political solubility,
i found too many politicians generating hatred against someone. against the arabs, against leftists, against the media, against the supreme court. which to our society is a challenge. and we have to deal with it. and i believe we are able to. isaac herzog, formerly labour party, now of zionist union, he coined this extraordinary word, calling it the "fascistisation" of israel under netanyahu. it sounds like you are almost agree with him. certain elements are going this direction, and i worry about it. you would use that phrase, fascistisation, would you ? you know, in certain parties, yes. some politicians are going this way — racism, facism. this is not the vast majority of politicians. but it is — unfortunately, it is not stopped by the prime minister, and that's why i have too many disputes with him. i am very, very puzzled as to how you can sit in cabinet as,
i think, deputy premier, for three orfour years, and then as defence secretary, the senior security post in the cabinet, for, what, more than three years, serving as a loyal ally of benjamin netanyahu, and then you fall out with him after seven years of service, and come out saying that he is fostering extremism, and possibly fascistisation of israel. it is extraordinary! it was not the case until the 2015 elections. let's put it this way. he suddenly changed, all overnight? the likud party has been changed. ijoined the likud party when the rule of law was above all. and this has been changed. certain politicians could not win the primaries of the likud party. so it is a challenge, but i believe the israeli society can cope with it. we will get to the bigger strategic picture in a moment. but let's just stick to the internal politics of neta nyahu, the likud party, and the right wing
in israel, because — you have been a critic now, but also you have been involved for an awful long time. how can you say that you have absolutely no doubt that benjamin netanyahu is guilty of these allegations, all of which he absolutely and adamantly denies? some of these concern his behaviour, and some of which concern the behaviour of others, involving defence contracts, specifically submarines. he himself is not involved with this, but people close to him are. you say it you have no doubts that — if he is not indicted, you say, you will go on a speaking tour and tell all. well, what is it that you know that the rest of israel does not? i am not going to elaborate about it. it is still under investigation, and i don't want to harm the process. but i did say that i am sure that in the end, people should be indicted.
if not, then i will go publicly to share all my information, all i know about the situation with the people of israel. it is a public issue. people do not change their spots, do they? you say benjamin netanyahu somehow flipped in 2015, around the time of the election. you had served him, by then, for what, six years? you can't tell me that the man you knew for six years suddenly became somebody completely different after the election. it was quite a surprise for myself. i did not believe that he would be involved in corruption affairs. i didn't believe it. and he denies it. and i was surprised. it happened at the start of 2016, but it's an internal issue that law enforcement will deal with properly. netanyahu dismisses what you say, and says that you are just desperate to launch own political career. frankly a career that right now looks like it is struggling.
so he said it. let's wait and see the consequences of the investigations. is this notjust about netanyahu, but something corrosive at the heart of the israeli state which says something about israeli values, today? it is in politics. it is not part of a huge problem in the israel society. but the political system has been corrupted. and politicians, in fact, many feel, have been corrupted. not all politicians are corrupt. but this is also not all society. i had the opportunity to meet the young generation in israel, highly educated, highly motivated — they are looking for leadership, of course. they are frustrated with the current situation and they don't trust the leadership. it is notjust about money
and corruption in politics, though, is it? it is about values connected to the very biggest of pictures, for example, israel's continued occupation, after 50 years, of the west bank, and what that does to the israeli psyche, and to young israelis in particular. you know, it's a matter of choice. i don't see another choice. i don't see an alternative for the fact that we have to find the way to deal with the palestinian challenge. because in one hand, i don't see any chance for a final settlement with the palestinians. because you did. you supported rabin‘s support of the two—state process. in the beginning, i supported 0slo. to the point that i was exposed to the details when i became head of intelligence under late mr rabin.
i sanctified human life more than land. and that is why supported rabin. when i was told by our leaders, at the time, in 1993—1995, it might bring about peace and tranquillity. as somebody who has experienced too many wars, i supported it. when i saw the details, as head of intelligence, i was shocked. rabin continued to believe — and i lived in israel at the time, and remember it well, he said, "israel has no choice — we simply have to make peace with our enemies. there is no alternative." that is why i agreed with him that he tried it. but he failed. and i know rabin‘s way very well. and in his last speech, before his unfortunate assassination, he delivered a speech bringing the second half of oslo.
he delivered a speech in october 95. he said the palestinian authority should be less than a state. he said, we won't go back to 1967 lines, because no defensible borders, and he knew he was talking about. he was the chief of general staff in the six—day war. and he said that israeli sovereignty should be empowered on the blocks and clusters. he never gave up on the 2—state solution? you have to read his speech. he tried the 2—state solution. i don't want war for the palestinians. my point is notjust about the 2—state solution. my point is about no alternative. just the other day, another chief of staff of the israeli defence forces, another former prime minister, said this government, the netanyahu government, is putting the country on the path to become an apartheid state, and it should be brought down if it fails to change course. so, you need to listen
to what i think about the israel—palestine conflict. on one hand i don't believe there is a chance to reach a final settlement. not because of us. we tried it many times. many palestinians rejected the proposal. palestinian leaders rejected any partition—led proposal for any division in the land of israel. talking about the palestinian authority in the west bank. i do not believe there is a chance of final settlement, not because of not because of us, because of them. but you have to recognise... as israelis, do you not have a duty to keep searching, to keep working, for a solution, because if you do not, your own people suffer
the consequences? but you know, let's listen to my proposal. i don't think a final settlement is possible. but on the other hand, i don't want to rule them. and they enjoy political independence since 0slo. they have their own parliament and government, a president and so forth. i don't want to rule them. but, forgive me, you do rule them. i did a bit of research about your post as defence minister. a series of reports cross your desk from unicef in 2013, saying the ill—treatment of children who come into contact with the military detention system in the west bank appears to be widespread, systematic, and institutionalised. human rights watch, a very detailed report how israeli forces use unnecessary force to detain and arrest young palestinians, as young as 11, choking them, throwing grenades at them, beating them in custody. these reports crossed your desk, the work of your idf. this is what occupation means.
do we have a choice? i prefer not to have a checkpoint. i prefer not to go and search for terrorists and weapons. their choice was instead of peace, more than 1000 casualties on the gaza strip. crosstalk. your government, that is the netanyahu government, which until 2016 decided not to negotiate with the palestinian authority. no, not at all! you rewrite the history. in 2014 we were engaged in nine months‘ talks led by secretary of state kerry. at the end of this nine months we were asked by secretary kerry to continue the negotiations according to a certain american document — terms of reference. we said yes, although we had reservations which we said we would discuss around the table.
abbas, did he pay any price for it? you are playing a tit for tat game as to who was responsible for the breakdown in talks. i am trying to look at the morals, values, cohesion of an israeli society that has prided itself on having the very best of humane values. i am putting it to you, if i listen to israeli soldiers who have served the occupation, like breaking the silence, who are opposed to the occupation, former idf soldiers, they say this is the moral consequence of the prolonged occupation of the palestinian people — that is the corruption of young israelis who served that occupation. it is a choice to allow the palestinians to have hamas as well, like in the gaza strip? we are not deployed
any more in gaza! you have to believe in the values of your state. we keep the values! i kept the values! in 2002 you described the palestinian people as a cancer. i didn't do it. the israeli media reported it. it doesn't mean that i said it. i didn't say it. you pick certain quotations. did you sue them for claiming you described the palestinian people as, i am quoting directly, like a cancer? didn't say that. an invisible but existential threat. no, something very different but nevertheless, you know... how would you have felt if a palestinian leader described thejewish people as a cancer? i didn't do it! you arejust accusing... i have denied... you are accusing the israeli media of fabricating lies? there are so many misquotations. i know what i believe in.
i wish to have full separation with the palestinians. what did we have after 0slo? more than 1000 casualties after bombing attacks. what about after gaza ? this is the reality. what is the choice, to leave the west bank for palestinianjihad and daesh. president trump says he is going to fix the middle east problem. he said the other day, we will get it done. his son—in—lanared kushner has been sent to negotiate. he himself has seen netanyahu and abbas. he says abbas is committed to peace. is the us president wrong, misguided? no, he now says different things about the reality on the ground. i believe this administration is more realistic regarding the situation on the ground.
first of all they tried to convince abbas not to promote terror by paying salaries to terrorists or the families of jihadists and so forth. is it wise for donald trump to put a great deal of political credibility and capital on the idea that he can make peace between israel and the palestinians? let's try... so many presidents and secretary of states try. israeli prime ministers try to solve it. and they fail, why? because the gap is huge. you can talk about peace. he is reluctant to recognise our right to exist as a nationstate, as a jewish people in any boundaries. can you bridge the gap? we have to manage the problem from the bottom—up. if i may say so, you sound just like prime minister benjamin netanyahu.
you spend the first part of the interview saying he was no longer qualified to be israeli prime minister. you clearly want his job. your positions on the key elements of this, the fact you won't talk about a two—state solution, you won't talk about land for peace, you are just like benjamin netanyahu! first of all he, like myself, regarding the strategic issues, we didn't dispute it, whether iran, what should be done in the region and this situation in the middle east, or with regard to the palestinian challenge. your strategic vision is the same as netanyahu's? almost, yes. that will hardly persuade the public to shift from him to you. what does it mean if we agree about it? this is reality. i have 37 years of military experience, seven yea rs in government experience. we don't have a two—state solution. mahmoud abbas escaped
from president 0bama's proposal in 2014, he got away from the proposal in 2008, this is the reality. you've just been speaking at a big conference in london at the centre for policy studies security conference, and if we look in strategic terms, israel has an opportunity — there are fractures and divisions in the arab world, much of it is simplistic to put it as sunni—shia, but there is an element of it, pragmatic leaders in the sunni arab world such as a saudi arabia, let's say jordan, egypt, who may well be interested in a long—term alliance of sorts
with israel against iran if israel were prepared to make concessions on the palestinian issue, which would let the arabs in. but you are not ready to do that, are you? no, this is not the case, and i will tell you — i was in government when we tried to bring in regional parties, the sunni arab camp, to cooperate on any kind of regional settlement in the region. first of all, we are on the same boat today. those who still use the terms the israeli—arab conflict are irrelevant because we share the common enemies — iran, daesh, isis, al-qaeda. arabs are not going to buy that as long as you continue to refuse to contemplate a two—state solution. we don't refuse! ..and give the palestinians a dream of statehood. i will tell you what happened with them. we tried to convince them to come in and generate these kind of political process. they rejected it. why?
the palestinian issue is not in the first priority. there are the other challenges, iran is the main challenge. it is about the shia—sunni conflict, globaljihad and so forth. when we told them to come into the process, and they rejected to come in. do you know that the only sunni party today ready to spend money on the palestinian issue is qatar? the saudis didn't spend a dollar. the egyptians you can talk with... seriously, they are not ready to invest in the palestinian issue! it might be easy if trump can convince them and we would be more than happy... you don't see a watershed moment of diplomatic opportunity for israel. what you see is more of the same. more of the status quo. i will ask you a final question. what is your vision of where israel is a generation from now,
25 years from now? with the political separation, which is a positive outcome of oslo, i am not afraid for democracy. the gazans are not going to vote in the knesset and i don't want a bilateral state, so palestinians who live in the west bank... they enjoy their own political independence, they don't have to vote to the knesset. this is the reality on the ground today. we should not keep it as the status quo and improve it from the bottom up. it is going to fail anyhow if the palestinians will go on educating their generation to hatejews and kids from kindergarten are educated to wear explosives to kill us. go this is the main point. and we have to end it there. moshe ya'alon, i thank you for being on hardtalk. thank you. if the truth be known, thursday will be a hard sell
for the latter part ofjune, given that low pressure is still very much the dominant feature. not a cold start to the day, that is positive, 12, 13, 1a degrees across the south. but as i say, even on this big picture here you get a sense that there is an awful lot of wet and windy weather to be had, not just to be found across the northern half of the british isles either. as we slump towards the south—west, a dank start here. not cold, 13, 1a degrees but the cloud sits low and moors in the south—west. hill fog around, further east and it is a good deal drier, still a lot of cloud with a hint of brightness if you are lucky. in the northern part of wales in the north of england, light patchy rain here with hill fog around. the rain beginning there to ramp up and as we come into the heart of scotland, a lot of rain here, especially in the south—east and into the north—east of england. weather warnings about this. a lot of rain here
just keeps on coming. it is fed in by this north to north—westerly wind and that will be it for the day. that is the bad news about it. all the while the rain is trying to move a bit further north through the course of the day. so for any heat at all, well, we have to rely on a little sunshine coming through in the south—east. 18, 19 here but underneath the cloud wind and rain further north, up to 1a degrees. itjust keeps on coming through the daylight hours. here we are into the evening and the pattern is very much the same. i changed the day and the pattern remains the same. the one crumb of comfort at this stage is that by then we may see 80 millimetres of rain across the high ground in the north—east and the rain will be lighter and patchier across the north and west. done at the south—east, 23, mayjust pop off a couple of heavy showers and the start of the week and looks to be a bit damp across the south—eastern quarter until that front moves off into the near continent and then
we look back towards the atlantic to see the supply of weather for the weekend. once the front is gone, there is a lull in proceedings and a decent day for many on saturday. pushing the weather front into the north—western corner of the british isles. of the british isles during the course of saturday afternoon, that will then transfer a weakening band of weather down towards the south—west and we do it all again. not a bad day following on behind but again, a scattering of showers across the northern and western parts of scotland. so compared to what comes in the next 2a hours or so, the weekend is dry, bright and warm for many of us. president xijinping president xi jinping arrives to celebrate 20 years of chinese rule. more than 60 countries have now been hit the latest cyber—attack. an expert tells us this is the future of conflict. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: the first woman jockey to win australia's biggest horse race is suspended after failing a drugs test. putting singapore's traditional cuisine on the global map — we meet the chef who won peranakan food its first michelin star.