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  • September 23, 2011

    Bill Clinton: Netanyahu killed the peace process

    A friend of Israel would see things differently or would have kept his mouth shut. The message should have been, Arafat lost Palestine. Things change. What was, won’t be again. Bibi is serving the will of the people. Ted Belman

    By Josh Rogin Thursday, September 22, 2011 FOREIGN POLICY

    Who’s to blame for the continued failure of the Middle East peace process? Former President Bill Clinton said today that it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — whose government moved the goalposts upon taking power, and whose rise represents a key reason there has been no Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

    Clinton, in a roundtable with bloggers today on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, gave an extensive recounting of the deterioration in the Middle East peace process since he pressed both parties to agree to a final settlement at Camp David in 2000. He said there are two main reasons for the lack of a comprehensive peace today: the reluctance of the Netanyahu administration to accept the terms of the Camp David deal and a demographic shift in Israel that is making the Israeli public less amenable to peace.


    “The two great tragedies in modern Middle Eastern politics, which make you wonder if God wants Middle East peace or not, were [Yitzhak] Rabin’s assassination and [Ariel] Sharon’s stroke,” Clinton said.

    Sharon had decided he needed to build a new centrist coalition, so he created the Kadima party and gained the support of leaders like Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert. He was working toward a consensus for a peace deal before he fell ill, Clinton said. But that effort was scuttled when the Likud party returned to power.

    “The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question — and the Netanyahu government has said — that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank,” Clinton said.

    “[Palestinian leaders] have explicitly said on more than one occasion that if [Netanyahu] put up the deal that was offered to them before — my deal — that they would take it,” Clinton said, referring to the 2000 Camp David deal that Yasser Arafat rejected.

    But the Israeli government has drifted a long way from the Ehud Barak-led government that came so close to peace in 2000, Clinton said, and any new negotiations with the Netanyahu government are now on starkly different terms — terms that the Palestinians are unlikely to accept.

    “For reasons that even after all these years I still don’t know for sure, Arafat turned down the deal I put together that Barak accepted,” he said. “But they also had an Israeli government that was willing to give them East Jerusalem as the capital of the new state of Palestine.”

    Israel also wants a normalization of relations with its Arab neighbors to accompany a peace deal. Clinton said that the Saudi-inspired Arab Peace Initiative put forth in 2002 represented an answer to that Israeli demand.

    “The King of Saudi Arabia started lining up all the Arab countries to say to the Israelis, ‘if you work it out with the Palestinians … we will give you immediately not only recognition but a political, economic, and security partnership,’” Clinton said. “This is huge…. It’s a heck of a deal.”

    The Netanyahu government has received all of the assurances previous Israeli governments said they wanted but now won’t accept those terms to make peace, Clinton said.

    “Now that they have those things, they don’t seem so important to this current Israeli government, partly because it’s a different country,” said Clinton. “In the interim, you’ve had all these immigrants coming in from the former Soviet Union, and they have no history in Israel proper, so the traditional claims of the Palestinians have less weight with them.”

    Clinton then repeated his assertions made at last year’s conference that Israeli society can be divided into demographic groups that have various levels of enthusiasm for making peace.

    “The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel’s founding,” Clinton said. “The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they’re supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they’re not encumbered by the historical record.”

    Clinton affirmed that the United States should veto the Palestinian resolution at the U.N. Security Council for member-state status, because the Israelis need security guarantees before agreeing to the creation of a Palestinian state. But the Netanyahu government has moved away from the consensus for peace, making a final status agreement more difficult, Clinton said.

    “That’s what happened. Every American needs to know this. That’s how we got to where we are,” Clinton said. “The real cynics believe that the Netanyahu’s government’s continued call for negotiations over borders and such means that he’s just not going to give up the West Bank.”

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 9:09 am | 23 Comments »

    23 Comments to Bill Clinton: Netanyahu killed the peace process

    1. phil says:

      President Clinton fails to take note of incitement and the militant and hate
      teachings of the Koran which permeate Arab Islamic society. It is easy for him
      to make deals. He doesn’t have to live with the consequences.

    2. Jerry says:

      Mr. Clinton is full of bogus. Where to begin? In the first place his narcissism is showing. Note that it was “his” plan that was rejected by Netanyahu. Boy, does he want “street cred!”

      Now let us begin in earnest.

      1) The Saudi Plan was unacceptable to Barak and Olmert, because it persisted in requiring the “right of return.” The return of Palestinians to Israel was a non-starter for everyone but the Palestinians.

      2) Mr. Clinton was right about the demographic divisions within Israel, but for the wrong reasons. As the destruction of communities from Gaza shows, the purpose of withdrawal was local politics. The Left in Israel was and is petrified by the natural growth rate of the observant communities. By not providing for re-housing the Jewish refugees from Gaza before withdrawal, the purpose of the withdrawal became clear – screw the Jews. This is the Left’s position whether in Israel or not. The Jews represent a success story that cannot be countered by the Left, particularly by those who view people as a burden to the planet’s continued existence.

      3) Mr. Clinton knew what the Leftist Israelis would accept, but it was not what he says it was. Olmert had “a problem” with the Temple Mount. He would never have given it away nor would he have placed Jerusalem under international control. That would have been the same thing as giving it away. The Palestinians would never have ceded the Temple Mount for the reason that it would have been giving something to the Jews. They cannot cede anything ever. That is why Arafat could not agree then and Abbas cannot agree now to give the Jews anything at all.

      4) Mr. Clinton fails – as could be expected – to include the Gaza experience as something that has anything to do with Abbas and Judea and Samaria giveaway. That is a little self-serving, as most reasonable people would agree.

      5) So, it is the nature of Islam that Mr. Clinton has misunderstood for his own purposes. Those purposes include making it easier to view the problems in solving the conflict appear more the fault of Israel – the weaker party. Those reasons also include – perennially – oil. But they also include Mr. Clinton’s strange but understandable misinterpretation of events that comes with “insights” that are far too slick. He simply applies “slick Willy” processes to the Middle East. It is only human, but he suffers more from that malady than most. He opines glibly that the Jews were too devious in their demands – disagreeing when they seem to agree. Always with the “Yes, but”, while the Arabs said what they meant, though he thought there was wiggle room in their pronouncements. Look, he’s only human! But he is not the type of human that could have brought the Israeli-Palestinian problem to a successful conclusion.

    3. Laura says:

      Clinton, in a roundtable with bloggers today on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, gave an extensive recounting of the deterioration in the Middle East peace process since he pressed both parties to agree to a final settlement at Camp David in 2000. He said there are two main reasons for the lack of a comprehensive peace today: the reluctance of the Netanyahu administration to accept the terms of the Camp David deal and a demographic shift in Israel that is making the Israeli public less amenable to peace.

      Might it occur to bubba that the reason there is no “peace” process and there never will be is because his fakestinian friends refuse to stop murdering Jews, inciting to genocide and working for the obliteration of the Jewish state? None of those things have even been factored in his statement. What is it about liberals which makes them completely devoid of a moral compass?

      “For reasons that even after all these years I still don’t know for sure, Arafat turned down the deal I put together that Barak accepted,” he said. “But they also had an Israeli government that was willing to give them East Jerusalem as the capital of the new state of Palestine.”

      So Clinton admits that even under a leftist government, that the fakestinians turn down deals. So how is it Bibi’s fault? He doesn’t know why the deal was turned down? And this guy is supposed to be a Rhodes scholar. Well I have figured out why, genuis. Because arafat and the fakestinian population as a whole was not interested then or now, in statehood. What they want and always have desired, is the obliteration of Israel. What is so difficult to figure out? They have stated so openly for the more than 60 years of Israel’s existence.

    4. Laura says:

      “The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel’s founding,” Clinton said. “The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they’re supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they’re not encumbered by the historical record.”

      Israeli Arabs are pro peace? LOL No, what they actually support is turning Israel into an islamic state free of Jews. They understand, just as their fakestinian brethren do, that the phony “peace” process is a step toward the destruction of Israel. So “ultra-relgious” Jews are the problem according to Bubba. Certainly not the “ultra-religious muslims who want a Judenrein Israel couldn’t be the real problem.

    5. Laura says:

      Clinton, in a roundtable with bloggers today on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, gave an extensive recounting of the deterioration in the Middle East peace process since he pressed both parties to agree to a final settlement at Camp David in 2000. He said there are two main reasons for the lack of a comprehensive peace today: the reluctance of the Netanyahu administration to accept the terms of the Camp David deal and a demographic shift in Israel that is making the Israeli public less amenable to peace.

      Might it be that the reason Israelis are less amenable to “peace” is because 18 years of the “peace” process has brought them rockets and suicide bombers even after having surrendered Gaza. Israel has gained nothing from Oslo and surrender of vital territory but more terrorism and more demonization by the “international community”. It’s not peace that the Israelis oppose, it is the slaughter of their loved ones who’s toll rises in direct correlation to phony “peace” negotiations and surrendering territory.

      No where does Clinton hold the fakestinians accountable at all for the situation.

    6. That’s strange, BlowJobBilly. I thought the Musloids just killed the Fogel family, and have been killing Israelis right and left ever since Monica Lewinsky gave BlowJobBilly that blow job in the Oval Office (and even beforehand). Seems that the Musloids have killed the peace process but then again, a man whose ethics allow him to get sex (depending on what you mean by “sex”) from a subordinate in the workplace (cause for dismissal in most non-government organizations) might conclude otherwise. “It depends on what you mean by sex killed.”

      I should stop at the adult bookstore down the road and suggest it rename itself the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library.

      Remember the James Bond villain Oddjob? If we cast George Soros as a Bond villain (similar to Ernst Blofeld, with the white cat), he could have a henchman named Blojob (Bill Clinton).

    7. Andy Lewis says:

      Oh no, Mr Bill! Why did you change your mind?

      Methinks he got a bj from a Pali.

    8. yamit82 says:

      $$$20 mil for Clinton Library from the Saudis and he is probably on permanent retainer.

      Doesn’t anybody understand it’s all about money $$$, lots of money.

    9. BlandOatmeal says:

      Clinton is still chafing, because he couldn’t pull an accord out of his hat before leaving office. Instead, he got Ehud Barack to offer the Arabs half of Israel, then Arafat rejected the offer and began a terrorist war against Israel. Some accomplishment for Old Bill, huh?

      Hubba Bubba — go play with Monica. What? She doesn’t want you anymore? Pity.

    10. LT COL HOWARD says:

      Phil, Jerry, Laura, etc. you’re all 100% correct so I will not repeat your observations.

      Clinton draws active consulting money and speech income and from those who do business in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabians have an extensive propaganda/PR operation that dwarfs by several orders of magnitude anything that Israel, AIPAC etc. could mount. Many of his clients draw active money from Saudi Arabia. Many former members of his administration also draw money from Saudi Arabia

      The Saudi peace process was described to me by a Saudi insider as a “hoax”. They said that only someone with the supreme ego of Tom Friedman would carry it as a actual proposal. Close reading showed that what they really wanted was that when everything was settled to everyone’s satisfaction, then they would consider (and the operational term is “consider” )normalization. This” everything” included water rights, boundaries, right of return, etc. etc. etc. Thus when everyone is satisfied for all of their demands then, and only then would the Saudis “attempt” to line up support for a normalization proposal (and again the word here is “proposal”.)

      The guarantees that Hezbollah would not rearm and proved hollow. The guarantee of Israel’s free transit across the Suez Canal was violated very quickly by Sadat. The agreement to halt incitement has been violated ever since the beginning by the Palestinians. Just imagine if the Syrian government had gained control of the Golan Heights?

      And his wife is Secretary of State. If that is not a conflict of interest I would be very surprised. Neither you nor I could get away with that without being sued or threatened with criminal action.

      I am a strong critic of Pres. Obama.—- the high school seniors I talked to call him “Pres. Pinocchio”

      I suggest that you readers consult the American thinker: a century of Palestinian rejection by Fred Siegel. I also suggest that they read and post on the Jewish journalists Angeles. There, their views might help shake up a very left-wing agenda.

    11. goldi steiner says:

      Among the many tragedies in this crazy world we live in today, are “The two great tragedies ; BlowJobBilly and that wife of his.

    12. Remember how this horny oaf thrilled all the American Jews by saying that if Israel was attacked, “I will be right there in the trench with Israel”? I thought it was even funnier since he was a confessed and official DRAFT-DODGER in his own country…How to count on him to VOLUNTEER TO FIGHT WITH Israel thousands of miles away?!

      He shows his true colors every day. Is there a single prominent D-Rat left who is honestly pro-Israel?

    13. Neil Horovitz says:

      There is one fact that disputes Clinton’s assertions:
      Olmart, the Prime Minister prior to Netanyahu, offered Abu-Mazen in 2008 a very similar deal to the one of Barak in 2000, and Abu-Mazen rejected it.
      The real unsolvable issue is the Right of Return – there is no Arab leader, including Abu-Mazen, willing to compromise on the Right of the Refuges to go back.
      Add to it that Abu-Mazen represents at best 60% of Palestinians (the ones in the West Bank but not the ones in Gaza), and that in fact in the last elections against the Hamas in 2005 the Patah lost the elections (62% voted for the Hamas and only 38% for Abu-Mazen), and the questions of Israel becomes who do you do the deal with and if the deal will hold.

      It was clear long time ago that Slicky Willy is not reliable, but it also seems that the Democratic Party is less and less a friend of Israel and starts to mimic the left in Europe.

    14. Fact:Please take note: Bill Clinton had Yasar Arafat visit the White House 24 times over an 8 year period during his presidency. These visits by Arafat were more than any other International figure during his administration. That speaks a lot of why he said this. In addition, don’t forget the big billboard of Yasar Arafat’s wife and Hilary Clinton; arm and arm during that time period as well.

    15. Fact, Please take note: Bill Clinton had Yasser Arafat visit the White House 24 times over an 8 year period during his presidency. These visits by Arafat were more than any other International figure during his administration. That speaks a lot of why he said this. In addition, don’t forget the big billboard of Yasser Arafat’s wife and Hilary Clinton; arm and arm during that time period as well.

    16. Catarin says:

      I think Bill Clinton is wrong in his analysis of what went wrong in the peace process while Arafat was alive. Anyone who knew or studied Arafat during that time knew that Arafat would never make peace. Not only did Arafat refuse to make peace, but he took all the foreign aid he received for his own use, leaving the Arab Palestinian people to wither on the vine. I’m going to write Clinton.

    17. Sternlight says:

      Agreed. One also has to point out that a morally bankrupt man is no source of truth. Remember, he’s the artful dodger who argued about what the meaning of “is” is in an attempt to rationalize the unrationalizable.

    18. Sternlight says:

      Let’s keep in mind that “refugee” is a confidence trick. Until the Arabs pulled a fast one at the Untied Nations, “refugee” was those alive at the time. These are now mostly dead. The Arabs got the UN to redefine the term to include their descendants, for the first time in history, as a time bomb against Israel and a demand for vast treasure to support UNRWA. Time to stop supporting the descendants and resettle them in the real Arab Partition State, Jordan.

      We can never rely on the Untied Nations; they have become a thuggish majority stealing from the West. It is only the wisdom of the founders that got Security Council control of the real core issues, with a US veto. The price of that was a Russian Veto, but it was a good trade-off.

      Perhaps we should call the Turks’ attention to the “new” definition, which would make every Armenian world-wide eligible for reparations.

    19. Catarin says:

      Bill Clinton was trying to defend himself against an intrusion into his private sex life. In the hysterics of the times, posecutors made that an issue when in truth it should not have been embarked on. Maybe Clinton should have said to Starr, do you know what the meaning of F U is?

      Clinton remains one of the most popular men on earth and is admired all over the world.

    20. LT COL HOWARD says:

      @ Catlin I defended Clinton because as an insider physically familiar with the White House layout I could not believe that anyone could be so reckless and stupid to do what he did. Those of us who went public to defend Clinton’s behavior got screwed by him and were furious. Donna Shalala stamped her foot and uttered words that I never knew that she knew. he looked in our and lied, and lied, and lied. If I had (or anyone else had) engaged in such behavior I would have been immediately court-martialed and subject to a jail term. My gripe with Clinton goes deeper. He does not hesitate to take Saudi money what to pressure Netanyahu to gain advantages for his well-paying clients. I previously posted this and I believe I should call to your attention: Clinton draws active consulting money and speech income and from those who do business in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabians have an extensive propaganda/PR operation that dwarfs by several orders of magnitude anything that Israel, AIPAC etc. could mount. Many of his clients draw active money from Saudi Arabia. Many former members of his administration also draw money from Saudi Arabia

      The Saudi peace process was described to me by a Saudi insider as a “hoax”. They said that only someone with the supreme ego of Tom Friedman would carry it as a actual proposal. Close reading showed that what they really wanted was that when everything was settled to everyone’s satisfaction, then they would consider (and the operational term is “consider” )normalization. This” everything” included water rights, boundaries, right of return, etc. etc. etc. Thus when everyone is satisfied for all of their demands then, and only then would the Saudis “attempt” to line up support for a normalization proposal (and again the word here is “proposal”.)

      The guarantees that Hezbollah would not rearm and proved hollow. The guarantee of Israel’s free transit across the Suez Canal was violated very quickly by Sadat. The agreement to halt incitement has been violated ever since the beginning by the Palestinians. Just imagine if the Syrian government had gained control of the Golan Heights?

      And his wife is Secretary of State. If that is not a conflict of interest I would be very surprised. Neither you nor I could get away with that without being sued or threatened with criminal action.

      I am a strong critic of Pres. Obama.—- the high school seniors I talked to call him “Pres. Pinocchio”

      I suggest that you readers consult the American thinker: a century of Palestinian rejection by Fred Siegel. I also suggest that they read and post on the Jewish journalists Angeles. There, their views might help shake up a very left-wing agenda.

      Reply

    21. Shy Guy says:

      Loonie left dumb bunny Catarin strikes again. Enjoy:

      Bill Clinton reinvents history again

      You’re batty a thousand, Cat!

    22. Catarin says:

      To Howard. So you think the Saudis contribute to Bill Clinton’s foundation so Bill will be a mouthpiece for their views? I don’t think Clinton can be bought. Bill and Hillary Clinton get things done, and not in the stupid, ineffective way that Bush did.

      I think the biggest thing going on here is that the Western world is sick to death of the Arab Palestinians and their inability to move forward. They’ve come to the point where they want a resolution even if it is not in the best interest of Israel. If the Western world can’t do anything with the Palestinian Arabs, which seems to be the case, they push Israel to do it.

      Why are there no Christian voices in Jerusalem crying out that the division of Jerusalem would put their holiest sites under Arab rule? It is ludicrous to give the old city and Jewish and Christian holy sites to Arabs. The Jews and Christians should join in a campaign to push the Arabs back, something like, We were here first! We will not divide Jerusalem! Israel needs worldwide voices to join in.

    23. AmericanEagle says:

      Catarin writes:
      Bill Clinton was trying to defend himself against an intrusion into his private sex life. In the hysterics of the times, posecutors made that an issue when in truth it should not have been embarked on. Maybe Clinton should have said to Starr, do you know what the meaning of F U is? Clinton remains one of the most popular men on earth and is admired all over the world.

      Catarin, The only people who “love” Bill Clinton are vile Democrat hacks and other clueless liberals who misrepresent the truth as you have done above. Here’s why.

      A scurrilous and adulterous private sex life was what John F. Kennedy had – outside official working hours, with grown women who did not work for him. What Bill Clinton did was in his workplace, during working hours with one of the most junior employees in the White House over whom he wielded immense power. This met every criteria the abortion-feminists use to define criminal sexual harrassment, but they did not apply it to him because he supported abortion on demand.

      Secondly, Bill Clinton was impeached and lost his law license because he pled guilty to a) lying under oath and b) obstructing justice as the chief law enforcement officer in the land, not because of his manifest criminal sexual harrassment, which was ignored.

      Thirdly, as a convicted prevaricator, why does anyone take anything Bill Clinton says seriously?

      When he was president, and now, none of his supporters can tell me how they decide when to believe anything he says, and when not to.

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