Powered by WebAds

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bill Clinton reinvents history again

Former National Security Council member Elliott Abrams blasts former President Bill Clinton for reinventing history again (Hat Tip: Dan F).
As he did last year, Clinton once again offered his vulgar, pop sociology explanation of Israel: “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. 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. 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.”

Natan Sharansky, one of those Soviet immigrants “who just showed up lately” and who Clinton presumably thinks does not want peace, said in response: “I am particularly disappointed by the president's casual use of inappropriate stereotypes about Israelis, dividing their views on peace based on ethnic origins.” Presumably, if you disagree with Clinton over the necessary preconditions for peace, you are against peace entirely—and you need to be denounced. The implication that someone like Sharansky, because he is an immigrant from the USSR, is “not encumbered by the historical record” and is indifferent to Palestinian claims requires no refutation; Clinton should be ashamed of himself. Unlike Clinton, whose most frequent foreign visitor to the White House (13 times!) was Yasser Arafat, Sharansky has stressed the importance of human rights and democracy as a prerequisite for a Palestinian state. Clinton was apparently quite ready to allow Arafat to create a terrorist satrapy.

Clinton also spouts off about the 2002 “Arab Initiative,” saying, “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.’ … This is huge.... It's a heck of a deal."

That “deal” was adopted at an Arab League summit attended by only 10 of the 22 Arab leaders of the day, and among those not in attendance were the king of Jordan, the president of Egypt, and Yasser Arafat—suggesting that support for this proposal may have been quite limited. Moreover, it was a take-it-or-leave-it offer, never proffered as a basis for negotiation. This “heck of a deal” required “Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the 4 June 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon.” In other words, go back to the indefensible 1967 borders, give up every settlement bloc, and give up every square foot of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall. Not quite as “huge” an offer as President Clinton recalls.

“The two great tragedies in modern Middle Eastern politics, which make you wonder if God wants Middle East peace or not, were Rabin’s assassination and Sharon’s stroke,” Clinton said. I can think of some others: The fact that a terrorist and thief, Yasser Arafat, led the Palestinian people for decades; the fact that he turned down Israeli peace offers at Camp David; the fact that the Palestinians turned down Ehud Olmert’s even more generous peace offers in 2008; the fact that thousands of Israelis were wounded or killed in the first and second intifadas; the fact that no Palestinian leader has ever spoken with candor to the Palestinian people about the compromises they will need to make in any peace agreement; the fact that for the last two and half years the Palestinian leadership has adamantly refused to come to the negotiating table.
Read it all.

Labels: , ,


At 1:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The two Ehuds who bookended Israel's last decade were the most conciliatory Israeli leaders the Palestinians have ever faced. They're unlikely to get a better offer from Israeli leaders in the future.

For President Clinton to suggest Israel didn't want to make peace happen is misrepresenting history. He might to go and read up on the actual facts. The fact there is no peace today has nothing to do with Israeli personalities or policies but with Arab rejection of Israel's existence.

A Rhodes scholar should know better than to pretend if Israel just gave the Arabs everything they asked for, there would be peace today. It didn't happen in 2000 and again in 2008. The historical record speaks quite clearly on why it hasn't and quite likely, will never happen!


Post a Comment

<< Home