Bill Clinton giving a speech 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Cohn)
The US State Department under Hillary Clinton is not endorsing the sharp
criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu voiced last week by her husband,
former US president Bill Clinton.
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“President Clinton is a private
citizen, his comments reflect his private views,” a US embassy spokesperson said
The former president, who had a testy relationship with Netanyahu
when he was president and Netanyahu was prime minister in the late 1990s, blamed
Netanyahu for the impasse in the diplomatic process during a discussion last
week with bloggers.
His comments came even as the Obama administration’s
public tone toward Israel changed dramatically last week, with US President
Barack Obama’s sympathetic and empathic address at the UN.
Josh Rogin’s blog on the Foreign Policy website last week, Clinton attributed
the lack of a comprehensive peace agreement today to the Netanyahu
administration’s refusal to accept the Camp David deal that he brokered in 2000,
and the influx of Russian-speaking immigrants who he called “territorialists,
the people who just showed up lately, and they’re not encumbered by the
His comments about the Russian-speaking immigrants
echoes similar comments he made last year that raised eyebrows in
According to Rogin, Clinton said Netanyahu’s government has
moved the goal post since taking power.
Netanyahu, in various US
television interviews he gave over the weekend, said he “respectfully disagrees”
“I’ve offered to make peace with the Palestinians, sit down
with them time and time again, and they’ve avoided it,” Netanyahu said when
asked about the matter in an interview on Fox News.
“He said actually
that I moved the goal posts. You know what? He’s right. I moved them closer to
peace. I said things and I did things that no previous prime minister has done.
I froze the settlements for 10 months, the construction there. Nobody did that