Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bill Clinton Has Too Much Faith in Abbas & Fayyad

Yesterday, former President Bill Clinton spoke to reporters about the Middle East process and said that the settlers and Russian Jews were the biggest impediment to peace.

(Hat tip to Mark Krikorian at National Review Online.)

Clinton said that the IDF had more Russians and settlers amongst its ranks and might be disclined to evacuate settlements in the West Bank. "An increasing number of the young people in the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," said the 42nd President.

Yet there were a lot Russians and settlers in the IDF five years ago and they evacuated Gaza anyway. Clinton's argument strikes me a specious.

If I had a chance to speak with Bill Clinton I would ask him if a generation of Palestinians taught to hate Jews wasn't a bigger impediment to peace than Russian Jews and the settlers.

But I might also ask him if he has too much faith in the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank namely Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Clinton thinks Fatah could win an election in Gaza "because of the greater prosperity and the greater security produced under Abbas and Fayyad." Methinks the "prosperity in the West Bank" might be a result of the massive amounts of foreign aid received by the Palestinian Authority rather than anything Abbas and Fayyad have done.

The former President also thinks there won't be a repeat of Camp David in 2000. "They won't do what Arafat did, they won't get up to the deal and lose their nerve. They know what the future looks like," said Clinton.

Abbas and Fayyad are more Yasser Arafat than they are Anwar Sadat. Abbas and Fayyad know that their future would be very shortlived if they signed a peace agreement with Israel. They would be signing their own death warrants.

When it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, Bill Clinton isn't as bad as Jimmy Carter. But he's wearing rose colored glasses.

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