On Sunday, Bill and Hillary Clinton were Iowa attending the final Tom Harkin Steak Fry event, and Bill was repeatedly pinned down in conversation by folks in attendance. During one such encounter, Clinton got into a discussion with a pro-Palestinian activist who managed to elicit a surprising, or not so surprising, comment from the former President.
Activist: If we don’t force [Netanyahu] to make peace, we will not have peace.
Clinton: Wait, wait, wait. First of all, I agree with that. But in 2000, Ehud Barak, I got him to agree to something that I’m not sure I would have gotten Rabin to agree to, and Rabin was murdered for giving land to the Palestinians.
Activist: I agree. But Netanyahu is not the guy.
Clinton: So, they got … I agree with that, but we had, I had hima state, they would have gotten 96% of the West Bank, land swap in Gaza, appropriate water rights … and East Jerusalem! Something that hasn’t even been discussed since I left office.
And by the way, don’t forget, both Arafat and Abbas later said they would take it. They said, they said, ‘we changed our minds, we want it now’ and by then they had a government wouldn’t give it to them.
Haaretz reports that the group of Palestinian activists had previously confronted Hillary, who opted not to engage. But Bill got roped in by one activist, Pat Minor, who baited him by suggesting a failure on Clinton’s part to secure the peace. “I know why Yasser Arafat turned you down,” she said, which apparently prompted Clinton to stop to “dispute her assertion that water rights had been the main stumbling block” at failed Camp David talks. It was then the unidentified man in the video from CSPAN was able to engage Clinton and get the agreement on Netanyahu.
Haaretz characterizes this position as being in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton’s recent praise for Netanyahu in an interview with The Atlantic.
However, at the blog The Lid, Jeff Dunetz writes that this is perfectly in keeping with Hillary’s long track record. “Except for the time she needed New York’s Jewish voting bloc, Hillary Clinton has never been pro-Israel,” says Dunetz.
h/t The Lid