Bill Clinton kind of smiling 311.
(photo credit: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Sources in Jerusalem have discounted as “political gossip” a recent report in
the US blogosphere about former US President Bill Clinton returning to Middle
East diplomacy in one capacity or another.
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Laura Rozen, at Politico,
quoted Steven Clemons from the left-leaning New America Foundation as being
convinced that Clinton is the man who can help Obama bring peace to the Middle
East. “Bill Clinton is the only guy I can think of who is trusted and liked by
all sides,” Clemons was quoted as saying.
That’s true, one observer in
Jerusalem quipped, if you discount the million Russian immigrants who Clinton
said earlier this month were the obstacles to peace, and if you ignore all the
stories over the years about how difficult a relationship Clinton had with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when they worked together during Netanyahu’s first
term in office.
Floating the idea now was seen by some in Jerusalem as
possibly a pre-midterm election move. By suggesting a key role for Clinton, who
has strong support in the American Jewish community, Democrats could be aiming
to shore up now dwindling – yet traditionally massive – Jewish support for their
The idea left others thinking that if true, the move would be a
sign that the Obama administration was “clutching for straws” at a time when the
diplomatic process seems to have reached a dead end.
will be the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Middle East Institute think tank.
His topic: “Rethinking a Middle East in transition.”