tv DW News PBS April 18, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
♪ brent: this is "dw news," live from berlin. tonight, israel remembering the lives lost and taken in its struggle to gain and maintain statehood. jerusalem comes to a standstill to commemorate slain soldiers and civilians killed by terrorism. this, 70 years after israel first declared independence. also coming up, anti-semitism here in berlin. police investigating what appears to be a hate crime.
two young men wearing jewish kippas attacked in broad daylight. plus, u.s. president donald trump confirms his cia director mike pompeo held secret talks with north korea's leader. what does this mean for peace on the korean peninsula? plus, dealing a blow to human traffickers. german police arrest over 100 suspects in a series of early morning raids targeting an organization linked to thailand. ♪ brent: i'm brent goff. it's good to have you with us. tonight, israel is celebrating 70 years of independence. seven decades marked by many successes and many troubling moments as well. the traditional torch lighting ceremony in jerusalem market beginning of what many israelis
call their independence day. according to the hebrew calendar, the anniversary of the proclamation of the state of israel began on sundown on wednesday. prime minister benjamin netanyahu told crowds in jerusalem that real seeds of peace were beginning to sprout among some of israel's arab neighbors. that's an interesting take. i am joined by an analyst for international affairs in the middle east. it is good to have you on the show. israel celebrating 70 years of independence. the israeli-palestinian conflict, was it also created 70 years ago? guest: it was probably created even before because the fact that there are two competing national movements, one being pure zionist, one being arab
zionist -- arab palestinian, both happen before the establishment of the state of israel. then came 1947, the u.n. practice and plan which came as a replacement, which also did not the escalate tensions in the region. then of course for the aid, which for the israelis is independence d if a film and of the national aspirations and also a strong signal of hope after these very dark years of the shoah. on the other hand, the palestinian perspective is completely different. for the palestinians it is related to having to leave their homes, being exiled. they were displaced. to this day the palestinian refugee problem is still a big liability to any effort to make peace between palestinians and israelis. brent: peace also goes beyond
the palestinian israeli conflict. when israel looks beyond its borders? what does it see? it see some surprising supporters are allies. i am thinking saudi arabia. nora: right. that is the latest talk of town. my sense is this new between riyadh and jerusalem is very much interest-driven. we have the goal of trying to curb iran's influence in the region and that is very much where it israeli and saudi interests align. very much according to the motto, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. that is exactly what it is all about. we will have to see to what extent that new alignment will really hold, because one arab politician once told me that there is one word in the dna of
every arab, and that is palestine. so i think the question of palestine, especially when it comes to the so-called public opinion in error countries, is still a very pertinent and emotional one, and still one with which you can mobilize masses. brent: masses to demonstrate. you can also mobilize a lot of violence, which begs the question, what are the chances of a seeing reconciliation between the palestinians and israelis? nora: look, you know, my sense is that it takes bold leadership on both sides. the blueprint for a peaceful solution is there. it has been discussed 1000 times. they do not have to reinvent the wheel, but they have to take a bold step. brent: but can they do that without the u.s. in a leadership role now? nora: i don't know. i think what it all boils down to is getting rid of those
domestic, internal restraints. coalition building, technical concerns on both sides. of course that is wishful thinking, but i think at this point in time this is really the greatest impediment when it comes to progress in the peace process. brent: nora muller on this 70th anniversary of israeli independence. thank you very much. here in berlin, police are investigating a suspected anti-semitic attack. that is after a man assaulted two friends wearing jewish-style skullcaps for the first time. one of the victims told dw news that the pair wanted to show an israeli friend it is safe to wear the kippa here in berlin. but the attack on tuesday evening has raised concerns for the safety of jews in the german capital. reporter: the victim recorded the incident with his smart phone, but that did not stop his attacker.
the attacker repeatedly shouted "jew," and whipped his victims, a 21-year-old israeli and his 24-year-old german moroccan friend, with a belt. at the end, his attacker was led away by his companion. there were no further attacks. the two victims spoke with dw and explained they are not even jewish. it was a game, an experiment to find out how dangerous it would be to walk around berlin as a jew. the result, a shocker. >> i could not sleep at all last night. my body hurts in various places. and i must say, i just feel less safe. reporter: the incidentook place in berlin's trendy middle-class district, not a high crime neighborhood. it's an area where residents rarely encounter violent altercations.
>> you always think it takes place in the city's outskirts or the districts you think are violent anyway, but this here, i don't get it. >> you have to do something about this from the very start. in schools, training centers, and have more reports from people who experienced this kind of thing. reporter: berlin's jewish community has been growing in recent years. many have been moving here from russia. but also many young israelis see berlin as affordable and livable, and less as the place where the holocaust originated. but it seems to have become risky again. to wear a yarmulke in public. >> we have recently experienced increasing anti-semitic incidents. and as seen here, they include physical threats and injuries. so we have to say that the security situation for people who are clearly identifiable as
jews has worsened. reporter: the german government appointed its first commissioner to combat anti-semitism just a few days ago. >> we have to prepare the schools, equip the teachers with learning materials, and maybe also with additional training to respond to these things and make people aware of what is happening. reporter: adam has sustained some minor injuries, but nothing is known about his attacker. police are investigating. brent: today, israel's ambassador to germany told dw news that he is very disturbed by that video. he added that he is not pessimistic about the future of germany, especially as a new home to many jews. >> a very disturbing incident here in berlin, an anti-semitic incident.
a boy wearing a kippa was attacked and called a jew. how do you react on such incidents? >> i think it is regrettable. i think it is a disgraceful act. i saw the video. i actually tweeted that i think this person should be arrested and punished within the false force of the law. -- within the full force of the law. it is not only a hate crime against a jew, he was also a violent attack. for this sort of thing there should be zero tolerance. not so long ago there was an anti-semitic incident in a restaurant in berlin. with thepacef a w mites, someone had begun to talk about the palestinian issue, they said within five or 10 years you will all be back in the gas chambers. and i could not believe that i would ever hear this again. hearing on the streets of
berlin, as ambassador of israel, i was stunned. so for me, i think there should be zero tolerance regarding these acts. there needs to be strong enforcement. there needs to be a sense of, this is not going to be tolerated. i think it will require a whole range of different steps, not only enforcement, but also in education on many different levels. i think one of the most important acts that is actually happened in recognition of the problem is the fact that they have now appointed a federal commissioner to combat anti-semitism. reporter: do you have the impression that these incidents, that there have been more of these incidents recently and that the climate in germany has changed? >> it is difficult for me to judge. i have only been here seven months or so. but since i have been here, i have seen that incident that i
talked about, that incident this morning. frankly, the fd came into power in the last elections. there were also demonstrations in which israeli flags were burned in berlin. so there are things happening here which i am concerned about. and they take up my time and my concern. but i would like to emphasize that have been very impressed by the straight -- by the very strong condemnation coming from the highest levels of the german government coming against these acts, these phenomena. and i'm encouraged by that. again, i'm also encouraged by the fact that we have such a vibrant and strong relationship on many other issues as well. reporter: do israeli people ask you if it is safe for me to show myself as a jew in germany? >> i would answer i have been living in berlin for seven months and i feel very safe here.
not only do i feel safe, but i actually walk on the street in the middle of berlin and i hear a lot of hebrew being spoken. so i don't think anyone is waiting to ask me whether they should come or not. i think the israelis are voting with their feet. a lot of people are coming to berlin, a lot of german cities. it has become a destination of choice in israel. there is a new atmosphere in our bilateral relationship. let's face it, we have had a problematic past. but the problematic past is becoming a very promising feature. that's another major goal that i have and ensuring that only increases in the coming years. reporter: thank you so much. brent: that was israel's ambassador to germany speaking with dw news. pierce some of the other stories now that are making headlines around the world. international weapons inspectors say a united nations security
team came under fire near the site of an alleged poison gas attack in syria. the security team was trying to pave the way for the inspectors to enter the town of duma. weapons investigators want to establish whether the attack actually took place and what chemicals may have been used. turkey's president recep tayyip erdogan has announced plans to hold early elections on june 24. this will hasten turkey's switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one that will strengthen erdogan's powers. they have also voted to extend the country's state of emergency which has been in effect since a failed coup almost two years ago. a plane ripped apart on tuesday leaving one woman dead. shrapnel shattered a window. the woman was then partially sucked out of the plane. it was the first fatal u.s.
airline accident in almost one decade. u.s. president donald trump has confirmed that caa director mike pompeo traveled to north korea and met face-to-face with leader kim jong-un. he tweeted that the secret trip went very smoothly. the u.s. leader is currently at has mar-a-lago resort in florida hosting another key stakeholder in the north korean nuclear arms race, japanese prime minister shinzo abe. reporter: after welcoming shinzo abe and his wife, donald trump wasted no time in addressing one of the main issues on their agenda -- north korea. the u.s. president revealing a breakthrough in relations between washington and pyongyang. >> we have also started talking to north korea directly. we have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels, with north korea. and i really believe there is a lot of goodwill, a lot of good things are happening. we will see what happens.
as i always say, we will see what happens. reporter: trump has now confirmed that cia director and secretary of state nominee mike pompeo met with north korean leader kim jong-un last week. a stunning turnaround. just three months ago, trump and kim were engaged in a war of words sparked by pyongyang's nuclear program and long-range missile launches. but the new year marked a new direction for the isolated country. there was a thaw in relations with south korea, with the north participating in the winter olympics. and at joint korean talks moved to end hostilities as well as talks of denuclearization. in early march, kim offered to hold talks with washington. to the shock of many observers, trump accepted. pompeo's secret trip to pyongyang is further evidence that those talks could go ahead. five different locations are reportedly under discussion with
trump adding he is expecting to meet kim in late may or early june. brent: tonight in cuba, lawmakers are one step closer to electing the first person from outside the castro family to lead the country in nearly 60 years. earlier today, members of cuba's national assembly chose communist party loyalist miguel diaz-canel as the seoul candidate to replace -- as the sole candidate to replace outgoing president raul castro. the national assembly is now poised to officially elect the 57-year-old as the country's new president later tonight. he is castro's handpicked successor. helena is here now taking a look at that leadership change. we not going to say election change. helena: it is still a way off but despite those reforms, cuba's economy still needs a jolt when it comes to its finances.
the question is, is miguel diaz-canel the person to do it? he is a longtime member of the communist party. he will take over when castro steps down in 2022. opinion is currently divided as to whether he will bring great change to the country. reporter: this modest home is where cuba's next likely president grew up. it is in the roughest neighborhood of the provincial capital santa clara. miguel diaz-canel is from a younger generation of leaders and advocates modernization. he called from work vertical national media and to find the mainstream by backing an alternative cultural center. >> it was very visionary because , well, to support them at the time. became with a lot of innovative ideas like giving space to the lgbt community. it was rather marginalized. reporter: despite these efforts,
there are concerns over how much diaz-canel can accomplish. many expect him to put an emphasis on continuity. >> we know that his intelligence and his willingness to try to win the rise from the principles he learned from fidel and role. -- and raoul. reporter: cuba's opposition is calling for stronger reforms to lift the majority of the population out of poverty. raul castro's modernization efforts have mixed results so far. the cuban government reorganized thousands of companies in 2011 to make them more competitive. despite those good intentions, production quotas, centralized planning, and the government's monopoly on foreign trade still prevent true autonomy.
agricultural reforms are loosened regulations on farmers and prices. however, the state dominated system was later restored because speculation inflated prices. many reforms remain a work in progress or have yet to begin. will diaz-canel approach them head-on? the world will find out in 2021 when it will be his turn to where the boots. -- to wear the boots. helena: to france, and key economic reforms continue to come under fire from the powerful unions. more walkouts on wednesday by rail workers. only one in three high-speed trains were running, meaning misery for commuters. more strikes for tomorrow in what is adding up to be dubious test of macron's presidency today. -- to be the biggest test of macron's presidency today. reporter: outside the train station, they are feeling defiant.
on a normal working day he brings thousands into paris and the suburbs. now his train is at a standstill in the garden. >> who owns the railways? >reporter: we do, comes the answer. french rail unions are well organized. they have pushed back with everything they have got to protect their jobs. >> rail workers are more than ready to fight it out. we're not ready in sitting around and talking about it during our coffee break. i am proud of being a train worker. reporter: rail workers in france have built up entitlements over decades. drivers like fabian can retire
five years early and enjoy free rail travel across the country. but the rational -- the national rail network is heavily in debt and emmanuel macron wants to roll back some of those privileges. he says he is ready to push through more reforms. for him, shaking up the railways is a political battle he has to win. >> they are working longer days and some companies could even go bust because of it. we need to sort of it -- we need to sort it out. i want to make clear that we will push through reforms because we have to have change. reporter: many say strikes like that are thing of the past. >> when strikers find themselves in the minority, that can make them i'll -- the more radical. public opinion turns against them, then they cannot maintain the strike and have to give up. that could give macron the
opportunity to push through his reforms without unions agreeing. reporter: something the rail workers are determined to prevent from happening. >> we have to stand firm together, otherwise the changes will go through. reporter: fabian is in no hurry to get back in the driver seat. he believes the track that will determine his future is only now being laid. helena: german police have rated properties linked to three top executives at porsche. this is linked to the diesel omission scandal. they searched 10 sites linked to one porsche board member. another member of upper management in a third person who no longer works to the company. porsche is owned by volkswagen which in 2015 admitted to using cheating software in diesel engines to pass emissions tests.
back to brent now, and a crackdown on human trafficking. brent: that's right. here in germany, federal police have carried out unprecedented raids against suspected human traffickers dropped the country. police detained over 100 suspects across 12 german states early this morning. they are suspected of trafficking hundreds of women and transsexuals from thailand for prostitution. prosecutors as a 59-year-old thai national and her 62-year-old german partner. i'm joined in the studio by the director of the berlin-based organization together against human trafficking. he is also a member of the german parliament. it is good to have you on the show. this was a huge operation, wasn't it? guest: one of the biggest the police have organized, yes. brent: is that because the
authorities have been sleeping at the wheel when it comes to enforcing laws, or have the laws changed to make it easier to enforce? guest: actually, it is the second. last year, some of the laws have changed, even the definition. that made it possible for better research for the police to have better tools. brent: we know that germany is considered paradise when it comes to protecting private data. but that has been a hindrance for the police, hasn't it? guest: it has. it was liberal, it was open, it was marketed as as good to hold a brothel as a tupperware party. brent: if police wanted to ease drop on my telephone conversation, it was not even possible. guest: it was not in organized
crime, not that area of criminality. open statistics say 14.6 billion euro are on the market one year. we have of the 400,000 people working in that business. 1.2 every day are going. imagine if there's no control, what can happen on that market. so that is a good sign that the police have used the tools and now opened the possibility to see. brent: i want to ask you, germany is considered a liberal country, prostitution is legal. for prosecutors like yourself is that a headache when it comes to talk time about cleaning up the dark underbelly of sex crime and trafficking? frank: yes, it has. there, politics has to go before society. because even society has to recognize that there is more. we have to think and we have to open that up, and we have to clean it, in a way.
brent: and you think that is what has happened? frank: it is happening and i'm encouraged from last night. brent: we certainly appreciate you taking the time to be on the show today. thank you very much. frank: you're very welcome. brent: after a short break i will be back to take you through the day. stick around for that. we'll be right back. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] íhh?dñ'óóóóóóóyical music)
- [narrator] the past 70 years has been the era of pax americana. - this new structure of peace is rising up on strong foundation. (cheers) - mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. (cheers) - [man] three, two, one. (energetic classical music) - [narrator] a period of relative stability thanks to the influence and ballast provided by the united states. (energetic music) washington's grand strategy of promoting