Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  January 25, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

12:00 am
the program. we begin this evening with a conversation with hugh hewitt, radio host and columnist. his book is called "the fourth way: the conservative playbook for a lasting gop majority." >> so i end up supporting and voting for him because of the supreme court and because, by and large, i believe as i discussed in the book. he can ryan, mitch mcconnell and vice president pence the country and create semilasting -- nothing is forever, but a good enduring republican majority. >> rose: we conclude with bernard-henri leévy, his new bok called "the genius of judaism," but the french philosopher also talks about populism and donald trump. >> if it was hate of state or compassion to the victims, you would see the same compassion of people expressing their
12:01 am
compassion for the victims in syria, for the victims of the genocide in darfur, for the victims of so many places in the world. so, no, there is a sort of dedication of hate against evil, a stigmatization of evil which has no other explanation than the redressing of the old hate against the jews. this is a new form of fanaticism, and the world has not yet found all the replies, the appropriate replies against this new hate. this is one of the reasons why i wrote this book. this book is what? it is to give ammunitions, weapon and ammunition to those who want to fight this new trend, this new black wave of new antisemitism. >> rose: hugh hewitt and bernard-henri leévy, when we continue.
12:02 am
>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: hugh hewitt is here. his nationally syndicated radio0 cities across the u.s. he interviewed president trump 15 times during the campaign and assisted as a panelist in four debates. his book is about how the president and a unified g.o.p. could work together to transform the country, he calls it "the fourth way: the conservative playbook for a lasting gop majority." i am pleased to have him at the
12:03 am
table. welcome. >> good to be pack, charlie, thank you for having me. >> rose: let me just trace the evolution of hugh hewitt. where are you politically? >> i am a center right paul ryan conservative. >> rose: a center right paul ryan conservative. and what's been your evolution in the 2016 long campaign on donald trump? >> it's a little tortured. during the debates because i signed on for the four cnn salem debates before they occurred in switzerland. i did 170 interviews with the various candidates including a dozen with donald trump before he received the nomination. after his nomination, supported him, happy to do so. when th the judge curiel situatn happened, i said if he continued that, it would be like stage four cancer. he stopped. got back on the campaign.
12:04 am
i campaigned for hi him and i sd you need to get out of the race, he didn't, and i supported and voted for him because to have the supreme court and biaged large as i discuss in the book he can transform with paul ryan, mitch mcconnell and vice president pence the country and create a semilasting -- nothing is forever -- but a good, enduring republican majority. >> rose: and what are the conditions to do that? what are the necessary, essential ingredients of that and what could prevent frit happening? >> scandal could prevent it from happening. the fifth chapter in the fourthway about impeachment which is the reality of this president, the prospect of impeachment especially if we get knocked out in 2018. 2018.
12:05 am
he had a very good start. i like the pipeline executive orders. if he nominates judge gorsich or the judge from texas or any of his 21 judges to be the supreme court justice, i will be very happy. three months ago i thought originalism was dead in this country. scalia was the bes best proponet for it, judge thomas is a good proponent, the chief justice is an originalist. i've read the citizens united concurrence often and point out in the book if people are worried about overturningobergo them, it's not going to happen. he is vindicated by had he overturned obamacare we wouldn't be looking at a unified g.o.p. government. >> rose: did you consider it the right decision at the time?
12:06 am
>> i did. i was persuaded. under this theory if you can find to uphold a federal statute, you ought to. he found a way, somewhat tortured, nevertheless, it's a way and turned out politically to be a marbury v madison deliberation. liberals are down 12 seats since 2009, 14 governorships, 54 seats in the house of representatives and down 900 seats. >> rose: why is that? obamacare. >> rose: it is really? only its racism towards the president. i fault his foreign policy, the j.v.s, the red line, the leading from behind. but by and large i believe obamacare's toll on the average american has been horrific. i know some people have been saved by it. $6,000 deductibles and a premium that in phoenix went up 117%. it just wiped out kitchen table
12:07 am
conversations. >> rose: that was it. i think that's why he won pennsylvania, michigan and wisconsin was a combination of deindustrialization and touching that cord. he hit a county who had only voted twice for a republican, hoover and nixon in the last hundred years and voted for trump, it's a steelworker, car building, blue-collar county and went for trump. he made a revolution and can continue that. this book is about republicans, give him what he campaigned for, a fence, infrastructure spending. he's got to have money to spend. >> rose: i read today infrastructure is being recommended by some as a way to reach out to another constituency. >> it is and i think it's the inner city, latinos, african-americans, distressed white communities that have been industrialized. i think steve bannon thinks about that on infrastructure, is that this needs to happen in the
12:08 am
right places, targeted industrial policy. paul ryan doesn't believe in this. kevin brady doesn't believe in this. kevin mccarthy and mitch mcconnell doesn't believe in this but he won the presidency and they need to give it to him. they have to give him the fence. i also believe his nixon to china moment, donald trump could transform immigration policy. >> rose: his nixon to china moment is to transfer immigration policy? >> to allow most to have the 11 million to 12 million people here to stay, not to become citizens. but no one could criticize him as soft on immigration. like nixon could sit with mao, donald trump could go anything he wants on immigration and no one would believe it's amnesty. sean spicer said monday in a teleconference our priorities are not to go after the doca kids. our priority is to go after the
12:09 am
people who have broken the law in the united states and represent a threat. that's actually channeling the blueprint for reform that reince priebus, the so-called autopsy done four years ago, a regularization is exactly what the republicans called for and i believe donald trump will embrace that because it makes sense, he knows the people who work in the trades, we have in to see him are largely latino in places like california. the dry wallers are almost 100% latino americans. and he understands getting elected and building. i'm an optimist on that. >> rose: with respect to trade, you're at one with him? >> no, this is where we suffer. >> rose: imagine my surprise. and paul ryan wants a border adjustment. >> yes. i think free trade, gross economy -- richard nixon's definition of progress i, that s
12:10 am
based on free trade. >> rose: stable regimes. and egyptian under mubarak was stable, and unstable in egypt, under nice to se sisi is. >> rose: there are real challenges. >> the interesting thing is president trump signed an order adding the muslim brotherhood or directing the secretaryof state to add the muslim brotherhood to the list of terrorist okayizations. it would be controversial but i believe sisi would go for that. i believe sisi and netanyahu will get along and we will be better off in four years than with obama. >> rose: as a friend of
12:11 am
israel, do you worry about the settlements and the fact it makes a two-state solution seem further away. >> doivment mike lauren is a frequent guest on my show and ambassador, deputy minister is very smart historian and i think he represents the center right in israel which would be the center left in america on settlements and i think he's wise and netanyahu is political, and i don't think thoapts do away with a two-state settlement either but would require -- >> rose: -- netanyahu, a core politician and is not willing to take a risk for peace. >> he came close. i think hamas is the problem. i thought secretary kerry's speech was ill advised and the u.n. move was a terrible move because the problem is not israel. i think they tried to do a deal at white river. they tried to a few times. invited the president to come. >> rose: both have tried. and israel is not the problem. >> rose: then you need a
12:12 am
bargain partner. but at the same time -- i know john kerry who tried desperately to bring them together, you know -- >> i despair of that changing much in the next 20 years. i would like to see i.s.i.s. eradicated. i thought in the inaugural speech, the single line that will endure is we must eradicate radical islamic terror from the face of the earth. that's an impossible achievement in four years but -- >> rose: it's not i.s.i.l. he's saying radical islamic terrorism. >> much farther. that would go to boko haram. >> rose: i assume that's michael flynn's influence. >> very much. if the field to flight would have been read it wouldn't have prized anyone. >> rose: are you at one with michael flynn with how he sees islam, a sprailings with radical
12:13 am
islam. >> i read a back about this, he's very nuanced on it. general mcchrystal is very high on him. >> rose: very high on him as an intelligence officer. >> right. and in the old n.f.c. -- >> rose: and he was his right-hand man in afghanistan. >> right. so i have a lot of hopes for general flynn and the cartoon of him that emerges is like most warriors when they become politicians, they're not very good at it. >> rose: general crystal knew he was highly admired with his work as an intelligence officer in the afghanistan and ran into trouble in the pentagon as you know and he thinks that the c.i.a. is way too politicized as you know. >> and pompeo a friend mine now director pompeo i think went over there with the express mission to act as a military officer, not as a congressman
12:14 am
and bring order out of chaos. the agency was demoralized. >> rose: by what? the refusal to deal with facts on the ground, the use of the centcom intelligence that was perverted, the refusal to call i.s.i.s. the threat it is and call them the j.v.s. they're very brave and clear eyed, i've known a number of them over the years. lawrence wright, i refer to his book, they were not listened to. they have never been listened to about how to combat the rapid spread of islamic islam. the desk officers at the c.i.a. >> rose: there is always been division within the c.i.a. you would expect it to be. they do not come to analysis with all seeing the same facts. some see these facts, some see these facts, not choosing the facts you want, but that's the nature of the c.i.a. it is to look at a lot of evidence and then figure out and then say to the president this is what we found and then -- and
12:15 am
more than it is to recommend the cause of action. >> i put this as a question to you, charlie, i think the crisis of credibility in the intelligence community is large than it's been for a while. director clapper is an honorable man, john brennan served his country for a long time but i don't believe they were willing to push the president to reality on the j.v.s and the president tried to distance himself from that, but how wrong could we have been in that decision in december 11 to withdraw from iraq and the consequences and threat it poses, how wrong could we have been? the national intelligence on iran -- >> rose: you believe if, in fact, there had been an agreement, now the government was not anxious to make an agreement, but you believe in fact the united states had innist assisted on an agreement and stayed, i.s.i.l would never have grown. >> i do. i don't think we needed an agreement. we have 10,000 special forces on the ground now without agreement. that's the number the general
12:16 am
asked for in 2007. president obama wanted out. he made a promise like trump did, fulfilled it, wanted to live with the consequences and defends it with people like jeffrey goldberg and others at length and in detail. i think he was wrong, not ill-intend bud wrong. the consequence is i don't have a lot of favorite in the old guard at the c.i.a. i have huge faith in mr. pompeo. i don't know senator coats but i am told he's good on the intel community. >> rose: john mccain is good. i'm high on general mattis. i only met him once but knew his former chief of staff. i know general mcchrystal. i'm sorry he's not in this administration. if there's one guy i would recruit is stanley mcchrystal. >> rose: how about david petraeus. >> yes. there is a ministry of all talents. the one thing i don't think the campaign allowed to develop is a sense of urgency around the
12:17 am
world represented by the near peer status of the people eats republic to china and their insurgence into the south china sea and the spread of islamic terrorism. putin doesn't worry the way those two. >> rose: china is a strong -- dr. kissinger's book, the tigers and capitalists, and if the tigers get control we're in for a rocky eight years. >> rose: who are the tigers there. they seem to argue primarily the military. >> that's what dr. kissinger argued. i listen to him. >> rose: but at the same time xi jinping has a missive amount of power. >> i don't have a fix on him. he is very little exposed to me. do you think he's a man of
12:18 am
growth and peace as opposed to -- >> rose: i think china looks at the world with the growing sense they have to play an important part. robert zellic went and told them you have to be a stakeholder and the military in terms of kerry. >> and the island and -- >> rose: and you hope they won't sink into a nationalism. >> that's the danger. of all the promises donald trump made, 350 ships for the navy, we need that,. >> rose: remember when john was talking about 500, 600. >> that is teddy roosevelt greatness and i think donald trump will deliver on that. >> rose: do you think donald trump has teddy roosevelt greatness? >> yes. >> rose: why? he comes from this city and this city develops like teddy roosevelt did in the expanse to have the impossible. >> rose: what a phrase. where did you get that? >> just walk around new york and you think anything can be done.
12:19 am
look at what happens here. this building we're in, the bloomberg building and how extraordinary it is and what it represents in terms of what americans can do when they are allowed to just kind of create, like silicon valley, and i think what donald trump imagines for the midwest. you know, charlie, in my law school hometown of ann arbor, michigan, it's alive now with spinoffs and feeder systems and intellectual growth. if trump is going to go to fox conn, put it in the blue state. go to apple and say why don't you build in wisconsin. it's going to work. >> rose: what worries you about trump? >> he can wear us out. most presidents retreat from the headlines if periods. richard nixon for a long period of time. ronald reagan gave us one story
12:20 am
a day. president obama flooded a zone but with a temperament that was very calm, condescendingly sometimes, but calm. if we are on a daily diet of controversy, the country isn't build for that. >> rose: do you at some point run out your welcome? >> yes, 2018 is very close at hand. he's got to deliver on his promises and has to make people feel less threatened. i read a come from "the washington post" this weekend about my friends mike and debby who are in a knot, center left and right people, are a consultant stream, not ideological, they're successful parents and business people and donald trump has them in a knot. 500,000 people in the mall in washington is an extraordinary event we will tell our grandchildren and our grandchildren will be talking about like the 1963 march where
12:21 am
the mobilization against the war. >> rose: women on the move. the tea party of the left forming. what does president trump do? i hope respond with generosity in the key of we and direct his infrastructure into the underprivileged communities, deliver real healthcare, not paper, but build clinics and dental chairs to do things for people who are left bind, that was his major chord. >> rose: do you think they have at hand a replace model. >> yes, tom price does. soon to be secretary price is a great believer in the one national market and taking down artificial barriers and especially reducing the mandatory procedures covered benefits process back in order to drive it down. my last job in government was to administer the federal employees health benefits program add opm and we have one pact for every federal employee in the d.c. area with 600 options. that's what we need and what tom
12:22 am
price believes in. >> rose: and will the congress give it to him? >> most of it. >> rose: can we pay for it? it's going to be a deficit issue. how much do we pay? how many people do we give a credit to? once price is dropped, it will be beyond the reach of many poor people. medicaid doesn't work in california, have had a massive expansion. if you're pediatric dentist, you don't see medicaid, dental patients. >> rose: if jerry brown had not been 70, supposed he have been 50 with a democratic candidate with the record he has in california would he have defeated donald trump? >> jerry brown would have been formidable even at 80. even at 78, he could have beaten him. he's a very formidable intellect. what he has not done is deal with the unfunded pension liabilities in my home state, $450 billion. one of the things congress has
12:23 am
to do is add a chapter to the bankruptcy code to reorganize states because california will be broke within the decade. >> rose: because of pension obligations. >> there ought to be a rule -- >> rose: what happened to the people who believed they were owed the pensions? >> the cop on the beat in detroit took a 30% haircut. better than it be structured. i don't think anyone is owed more in their retirement for a civil service job than a control who saw combat for 30 years. we have thousands and thousands of hundred thousand dollars pensioners who are going to live to be 100. it's untenable. >> rose: talk to me about the forming of donald trump's ideas. is he a man who set out to be president, influenced by people who said to him you need to figure out a way to appeal to the right and the alt right in
12:24 am
american politics and the one way to do that is the birther issue because it will get you a lot of attention and build on that by talking about building a wall. did he do that as a part of political strategy, or was donald trump someone who really had a sense of what was at the heart of the american angst about government? >> i think it's the latter. all my experience with president trump is on the record except two conversations, 15 extended interviews, four debates but two off the record conversations that weren't that long so i don't know his ent lek chiewl genesis. but in the is a on the record conversations i saw him to be nimble and curious, open to ideas. i said i have five suggestions for you and he wrote them down, he took hem and was listening. another conversation was the kurds mixup and he doesn't like to be embarrassed. i don't like gotcha questions and didn't intend it but we got
12:25 am
past it. intellectually, i don't think he's a reader. i think he's a listener. i believe he brings people in. >> rose: and the television -- the best thing i know about donald trump is stymied in his attempt to recruit mitt romney for reasons which i believe were political not personal, he turned to a man he h did not know, robert gates, one to have most respected people in america and said what do you think? he said talk to rex tillerson. donald trump not only followed up on it but picked tillerson, which shows an enormous capacity to take good advice with people he respects. >> rose: might have done that with general mattis talking about torture as well. >> i agree. if he's a listener at puts good people in the room, all will be well. >> rose: the thing that seems to come to the surface most often in terms of sensitivity,
12:26 am
be the sense he can't let go of the feeling he thinks the media was unfair. i think he generally believes that but he can't let go of it. >> i worked for richard nixon for a long time who had that feeling. >> rose: and lots of others. and it was justified because they were out to get him from hence forward. nevertheless, you have to get over it. but nixon stopped watching tv, and that was the answer. don't watch tv. president trump loves tv and it's a good source of information. >> rose: the who's has a thing about it, he gets up in the morning with computers and tweets. >> i read the story. he watches morning television. he watches you in the morning. >> rose: during the campaign, he said he learned a lot by
12:27 am
watching all the slides we had on the iran nuclear debates. >> did you ever hear his u.n. testimony about the building of the u.n.? he was a master. jeff sessions called him in to testify on whether the united states ought to pay of the remodeling of the u.n. and he was in command of every detail because he's a builder. i think he's a builder and senator corker agrees with me as another developer, what's on my critical path, who can help me get to the end, i will bring them in and talk to them and act on their device. very much bailedder of buildings tall and strong and very, very complex. >> rose: and the narcissism, you say that goes with the terrorist and, in fact, if you don't have it, you will never be president? >> the latter is certainly true. i started to mention john meacham and andrew jackson. he strikes me as very jacksonian, and jackson changed the politics of the country like
12:28 am
trump is changing politics of the country by sheer force of will after a controversial election. that doesn't worry me. the left instead.but he movedg. the donald trump can be dragged to the center on immigration reform, democrats in the left wing wilderness. >> rose: bob gates has been at this table and we have had 30 conversations and says the most important quality for a president is temperament. temperament. >> someone said of f.d.r., first class temperament, second class intellect.
12:29 am
so temperament, f.d.r. was joyous in the job. donald trump has been joyful. >> rose: oliver wendell holmes. >> you're right, that's why thought it was, too. i talk about the key of, we i hope he gets to like being president. i wonder about the first disaster which will come, whether a newtown, an orlando, how he will lead the country. >> rose: but you changed your mind about the speech which many's first reaction was it's grim, it's dark, it's angry, and after reading it, you said you came to like it more. >> it's growing on me and i'll tell you why. the people, the academy awards came out today, the best movie in america is "moonlight" and i think it's the best movie in america because it takes m persn like me to places i've never been in. he was talking about places in america who are hellish to live
12:30 am
in, and difficult to live in whether your color, race or orientation, he was speaking about difficult things in the country and now has to go do something about it. and his speech is growing on me and also to go after radical islamic terrorism. >> rose: he seems to also come to the idea that we dr. and he very interestingly says, you know, there is a movement. i didn't create the movement. i simply saw the movement, and now i'm a voice in the movement. he says that to the people he talks to. part of that came out of brexit. it gave him a sense he could win this thing. >> and your muscle memory. he won, he won, he won. i thought he was going home 1:50 on election night. i was wrong as everyone else. if we were in the n.f.l. everyone would be in the
12:31 am
protocol because we were so shocked. he saw things we didn't see. >> rose: what do you think he saw. >> the crowds. >> rose: he would say, look, i saw michael du michael dukakis - >> he went in ohio and there were thousands of people that never come out so crowds in democratic heartland turned out to see donald trump. i dismissed crowds because i'm a professional. >> rose: who's the most pragmatist, ronald reagan, richard nixon, donald trump. >> richard nixon, signed the environmental protection, the national environmental policy act, endangered species act, the clean water act, clean air act. didn't know what was in them. i asked him why did he sign these. he says, seemed like a good idea. he was playing a great game and didn't care about nestic policy. >> rose: hugh hewitt, "the
12:32 am
fourth way: the conservative playbook for a lasting gop majority." >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: good to have you. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: a french philosopher bernard-henri leévy is here. his latest book is called "the genius of judaism," he cam nls resurgence of antisemitism and reflects on the jewish state of israel and xplorers what it means to be a chosen people and the foundations of jewish thought. idtorial of the "new york times" ahead of friday's inauguration, he cautioned americans to be wary, jewish americans to be wary of president trump. i am pleased to have bernard-henri leévy back at this table. we have known each other for a long time and have been doing conversations at this table and in tables in paris for more than 20 years. so welcome back. >> thank you. >> rose: president trump -- mm-hmm. >> rose: -- first, as someone who has been engaged in the politics of your own home state
12:33 am
of france, you have seen the rise of populism in europe, clearly that was a populist inaugural address. your response to what you have heard so far in the presidency of donald trump. >> it's not the response, it is a stupor. i was astonished. the presidential address where he insulted the whole establishment of washington, in a way the american people, and even the world, was so astonishing. the day after, when he was in langley, giving the back to the wall of the names of those officers of the c.i.a. who died for the fatherland, he spoke only of himself. he spoke only of the size of the crowd which was in
12:34 am
washington, d.c. in such a childish way. i said that with all the respect i to this country and the american people, but to be in front of the c.i.a. with the wall of the dead and to speak of the size of the crowd for his own pride, this was so strange. >> rose: he did go on to say in the reports that he didn't trust the c.i.a. and criticized them for some of the decision they made but they have been criticizing themselves for the decisions they made, but there in front of that wall, and secondly, he did say, you know, he would be their strongest defender and all that, but he got lost in these other remarks about crowd size and everything else. >> and he got lost also in his comment about the press. he's the commander-in-chief, but he is also the warrant of the
12:35 am
american democracy. and the freedom of the press, the respect of the opinion of others is the pillar of any democracy and in particular the best democracy in the world which is the american demock ray si. i am surprised to see a president saying i am at war with the press. this is very strange. i'm surprised to see that when people demonstrate in the street, his first reaction was to say, i thought there was a vote a uh few days ago. no, to demonstrate is right especially when the popular vote was in favor of his opponent. this is frankly so strange. barack obama was so different. he was so wise. he did show such a coolness in the way of transmitting the
12:36 am
flame of the state. >> rose: but as you say that, my friend, you would have liked to have seen barack obama and the u.s. government do more in areas where you have enormous concern about human rights. >> there is a lot of things -- >> rose: would have liked to have seen american leadership exercised more. >> i would have liked to have seen the american leadership exercising itself in syria. >> preventing the real carnage in aleppo. in aleppo the real carnage was there. >> rose: that was the same barack obama who you have been a couple of seconds ago praising. >> yes. >> rose: because of all the things you have said and written about the horror of aleppo and people who history will judge harshly. >> i praise him for his decency and his behavior. after that, politics, no politics is perfect. i wouldn't praise barack obama
12:37 am
for the resolution for the u.n., about his policy on the state. this was not a good resolution. it was a bad place, bad timing to do that. it's not a question of that. we are not in a story between democrats and republicans. it is not an affair of being right or left. also an affair of being fit for office on not. obama made mistakes but he was fit. trump, i hope he's fit. the world hopes he's fit. the whole world is waiting and hoping for trump revising his attitude and acting in a proper way. >> rose: you have populism in france i. le pen, could she be president of france? >> i could not imagine trump
12:38 am
being elected in america so i can't imagine marine le pen. if trump is elected in america, anything is possible everywhere. we are in a time for various reasons, in particular because of the media -- >> rose: because to have the loss of jobs and because of the fear of -- >> not the loss of jobs. the barack obama era did not do so bad in terms of jobs, no. the loss -- >> rose: no, indeed, the unemployment rate went from 8-point-plus down to 4. but factories have moved out and it dramatically upset their own economic security. >> the obamacare was not carnage. >> rose: language you thought was terribly inappropriate. >> yes, it was inappropriate, and what is for me one of the
12:39 am
reasons of the rise of populism is the lack of truth, the idea that the truth does not exist any longer. this post-truth, even this affair of the size of the crowd, it had no sense to see this discussion with photos and so on. >> rose: one last question about trump because you wrote in an op-ed in the "new york times," we cannot rule out the possibility that trumpo ostentatiously promising israel may send the wrong significance fall to those who would be only too happy to see the united states make example of making unilateral unnegotiated decisions thereby opening the way to shows of force. >> yes, this is one of the
12:40 am
reasons i was opposed to the resolution of the u.n. on december 23, because i believe all these issues about palestine and israel has to be discussed in a military way. i think that the two parties should know there -- it has to be discussed in better way. i feel, yes, mr. trump, apparently the new administration, mr. trump has discovered a sudden love for israel, a few love maybe for personal reasons. >> rose: he's been on the von with benjamin netanyahu in the last 24 thundershowers. >> i know but i hope he will not use the case of israel to show his determination, for instance. i hope he will not use the case of israel to show he's strong. these matters regarding israel are so burning issues, so
12:41 am
dramatic. they are questions of death and life. they cannot be discussed and decided like this. >> rose: do you believe that a two-state solution is slipping away? >> i think it is still alive. the two-state solution is still alive, and i think it is the only solution. i think that for the palestinians but also for the security of israel, if israel has to remain israel, it has to be with a two-state solution. if not, we will have have a state with jews being a minority in the israel of the future. this is not -- >> rose: but having all the power. >> what? >> rose: but having all the power. a minority but having all the power. >> but israel was not based on the dream of power.
12:42 am
israel was based on the dream to build a special state. not a strong state only. strength is necessary when you are su surrounded by enemies, bt this is not the core. >> rose: is antisemitism, in your judgment, because you speak around the world, on the raise? >> it is on the rise. >> rose: and why is that? it is on the rise because it took a new shape and it took a new narrative. the new narrative of antisemitism is anti-zionism. in the world the only way to be efficiently antisemitism is to be anti-zion. >> rose: they call it a hate against a state but it is in fact a hate against the juice.
12:43 am
>> yes. if it was a hate of the state or compassion to the victims, you would see the same compassion that people expressing their compassion for the victims in syria, for the victims of the genocide in darfur, for the victims of so many places in the world. so, no, there is a sort of dedication of hate against israel, a stigmatization of israel which has no other explanation than the redressing of the old hate against the jews. this is a new form of antisemitism and the world has not yet found all the replies, all the appropriate replies against this new hate. this is one of the reasons why i wrote this book. this book is what? it is partly to give ammunition, weapons and ammunition, moral ammunition to those who want to fight this new trend, this new black wave of renewed
12:44 am
antisemitism. >> rose: so this is your handing them verbal, passionate, northerly air tbiewments against antisemitism. >> yes, against antisemitism, and what anti-zionism does -- i am a liberal and i believe that as liberals, we should not condemn but praise israel on the very ground, israel has by many aspects lessons to give to a lot of liberals in the world in terms of democracy, in terms of multi-ethnicity, in terms of the way of dealing with minorities, in terms of how to fight terrorism, how to behave in a state of war or emergency, on all these topics, israel behaves well in terms of -- >> rose: but here's my point.
12:45 am
that's about the state of israel. but this book is called the genius of judaism. nonot the genius of israel. this is about your fate. >> absolutely. it is the first part of the book. the second part of the book is devoted to my faith, my creed. one of the things which i try to explain is that you can be a jew without believing -- >> rose: without believing -- -- in god or without believing in the sky. i think one of the aspect -- the greatest master of judaism is what is required from a jew is less to believe than to study. it is less than to mix oneself in the sort of mystic that b tho
12:46 am
on and on in the text and the knowledge to understand better the world. so for me, the genius of that is intelligent study and the sense of the other. >> rose: is this something that has been part of your core as long as you have been alive? or is this something you came to? because i know other friends of mine who came to a greater love and appreciation of their judaism later in life. >> this book, i'm working on it since years and even decades. i am writing it in a sort of secrecy, secret sense, maybe 20 years. >> rose: you mean taking notes and filing them away or -- >> studying. for example, in the center of this book, there is a commentary of the book of jonah. jonah is a prophet who is ordered by the lord to go to
12:47 am
nineveh which is the worst city in the world. what does it mean for a prophet, for an average jew to go to the very capital of sin? what does it mean? it took me years and years to understand what it meant and why it is so important to go and preach, to go and speak to someone who is completely opposite of you. this is the core of what i call the genius of judaism. >> rose: to go to nineveh. yes, to nineveh. nineveh is mosul today, but it may mean also libya a few years ago, it may mean a lot of things. when i went, for example, to libya, when i went in bangladesh 40 years ago, i had the feeling to follow the trace of those
12:48 am
jews who believe that to be a jew did not mean to join in, to get inside a closed and gated community. judaism is not a gated community. it is an open message. it is a way to be involved in the accomplishment, in the reparation of the world. judaism does not address to jews only. it addresses also to the other. there was one quote which comes on and on in the jewish text which is the jewish verse has to be read as it had 70 faces, beautiful court, 70 faces. 70 faces is the number of nations on the earth. every jew believes that to be a
12:49 am
jew is to read the text of the verse as if it was addressed to all the nations of the world and not only to a gated community. this is what i mean by the genius of judaism. >> rose: when you say jews of the chosen people -- >> when i say the chosen people, i think it is -- i don't say, they say. the world -- what i demonstrate, is number one, they were not chosen at all. the torah was given first to all the other people of the world, and it is because they refused, because they declined, that in despair god is supposed to have given it to these 12 little tribes. number two, what the jewish text says is to receive this law is not a chance, is not a privilege, it is a huge burden.
12:50 am
and what the torah says is that if you think that because you have received the law you are the salt of natural sacred or sanctity, this is a mistake. thito be chosen is to be king of the world. he shows moses an open place which swallows the 250 followers. i try to explain the hebrew word that means secret, a secret
12:51 am
treasure. so what i believe is that the jews, the jews as myself and others, we are the sort of secret treasure which escorts the rest of humanity silently, secretly in the work of their own history. this for me is to be properly a jew. this is why i call it "the genius of judaism." >> rose: says for more than four decades bernard-henri leévy has been a single figure on the stage, one of the great moral voices of our time. he will just go back to mosul, making a film of what has happened to that city. now, your foremost philosopher and activist confronts spiritual roots and religion that always inspired and shaped him but one you had never fully reckoned
12:52 am
with. never fully reckoned with what? >> no, because to write this book takes time, and it needs another sort of speed, another sort of regime of the mind and of the soul. so since 20, 30 years, i was in bosnia, i was in libya. i wrote a lot of books of which i'm proud, but the basement, the secret foundation was this book with which i had to reckon, but it took some time. >> rose: do you feel liberated from a burden that you think you had to carry to try to explain the depth of your own love for -- >> no, not from a burden. i feel joyful -- >> rose: or a weight or you felt this heavy sense of responsibility? you have been thinking about this 20 years, you said. >> i always felt responsible.
12:53 am
i always felt all my life that my duty as a man, my duty as a writer and a philosopher was to involve, to commit myself when we face a dispossessed people, when you have a situation of genocide, i always felt that i know a little better now, having written this book, why i feel that, with which sort of weapons i can face this situation with efficiency, and this is what these jewish texts tell me. so i don't feel liberated from a burden. i feel joyful to have -- >> rose: liberation can't be joyful. liberation that i had this responsibility and i have now fulfilled it. responsibility to tell the story that i -- was deep inside of me and i had no responsibility. no burden, no responsibility, just an act of love.
12:54 am
>> and not fulfilled. how can one be fulfilled when you are contemporary of the massacre of -- myself, i feel shame not to have been able to express the indignity of what was happening in aleppo. so i did not do enough. i will not have enough of the rest of my life to do all that. >> rose: i wasn't arguing completeness. i argued that some sense to do this obviously you felt deeply about it and now you have put together and as you have said given people a weapon to fight with in the fight of antisemitism. >> in the fight of antisemitism. for self pride. it is important that jews today feel pride. >> rose: pride of their faith.
12:55 am
proud of their faith, proud of their commitment to study, and proud of their values. >> rose: and their culture. and their culture, yes. >> rose: "the genius of judaism," bernard-henri leévy, thank you. >> great to see you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
12:56 am
>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. up next: guam.
12:57 am
12:58 am
12:59 am
1:00 am
governor calvo: we are the most patriotic americans that you'll see anywhere. hinojosa: they serve in the military in surprising numbers. maggie aguon: boom, you're going to war. but when we come back, what happens to us? hinojosa: a population of unsung american warriors in the pacific. what is it gonna take for them to know that we're here? i don't know. you're in pain every day? yes. hinojosa: are they forsaken by the country they swore to defend? roland ada: i can't get the help that i need, and i need the help now. this is the new america-- black, brown, asian, lgbt, immigrants. the country is going through a major demographic shift, and the numbers show it. the face of the u.s. has changed. christina ibanez: we're american. we care about the same things. but yet we also want to preserve our culture. i just see it destroying what we had planned to happen here. hinojosa: by 2043, we will be a majority non-white nation.

73 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on