I almost interpreted a headline (reported, too, in the JPost) as implying that Benjamin Netanyahu had somehow killed Yitzhak Rabin but what Bill Clinton actually said was:Bill Clinton: Netanyahu killed the peace processBasically, he had repeated quasi-sociological claptrap he spoke last year which at the time I commented on and this year he was again asked:
Who''s to blame for the continued failure of the Middle East peace process?
and his response was
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…[that it was] 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. I am puzzled. Did the former US President intimate a lack of trust in the democratic process of government? Does he want all Israel’s governments to accept what was on the table - and refused by the Arabs - and then we are required to repeat the same offer even when we all know the Arabs simply refuse and up the ante. They''ve done this consistently for almost a century.He doesn''t recognize reality:-
"[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.
Why did the Pals. not accept it at the time? And I suggest they will not do so today.
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.
That''s exactly correct and that''s why Netanyahu won the election. The electorate didn''t like the Clinton parameters. They expressed their democratic opinion as by right. And then Clinton seems to be ridiculous when he said:
"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."
They had a “government” in Israel. Had. There’s a new government and a new set of negotiating benchmarks now, Bill.But Bill then expresses his perception of a political sociological insight, as it were:
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.
Different? Yes, as he explains:
"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."
Does that make sense to you? Does that sound racist, or paternalism or condescending?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."
Bill, actually there are many revenant Jews in Judea and Samaria who aren''t Russian, aren''t religious as there are in Israel as well. They understand history and they know the Arab threat. They hold viewpoints that see this land as the Jewish national home, to be lived in, to be developed, to be, yes, redeemed, and to be defended.Hillary, what do you see in Bill?^