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Palestine: Clinton's $500,000 speech leaves one speechless

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 25 June 2013


The thought that anyone was prepared to contribute to paying former American President Bill Clinton $500000 to deliver a 45 minute speech at the Peres Academic Centre during the festivities marking Israeli President Shimon Peres's 90th birthday is truly staggering - especially after hearing what he had to say.

He regurgitated the now dead mantra that the only solution to end the conflict between Jews and Arabs was the "two state solution" - claiming:

I just don't think that in all these years a credible alternative has been presented that would preserve the essential character of the state of Israel - a Jewish but democratic state.

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That solution had first been formulated in 1922 by the Mandate for Palestine - then proposed in 1937 by the Peel Commission and in 1947 by the United Nations - only to be rejected by the Arabs on all three occasions.

That same solution was available between 1948-1967 when not one Jew lived in the West Bank or Gaza - and again that golden opportunity was not taken up by the Arabs.

Now in 2013 - Clinton was urging Israel to continue pursuing the same solution under the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap - although such a successful outcome had not been achieved in the last 20 years notwithstanding unprecedented diplomatic pressure being applied by the Quartet - the UN, Russia, America and the European Union.

In a speech singularly lacking in vision - Clinton praised Peres - stating:

He is one of the great men of vision in the world ... Peres lives in the future, and is always thinking about tomorrow... If you don't have a vision of where you want to wind up, bad things are going to happen sooner or later… You have a better chance if you are driven by a vision of peace and reconciliation.

Guest of honor Peres - together with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting next to him - would surely have been miffed to think that visionary proposals suggested by each of them more than two decades ago - were not now considered credible alternatives by Clinton to fill the void left by the doomed two state solution.

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On 11 December 1984 Netanyahu told the United Nations:

Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body's predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate…. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.

Peres had expressed similar views to Netanyahu - telling the Jewish Telegraph on 19 April 1991:

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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