If [the Palestinians] want the deal Arafat rejected, then come back to the table and propose it.
Elliott Abrams raises another point:
Clinton also failed to note what Israel has done under Netanyahu to help the Palestinian Authority’s state-building project: Israel has allowed more and more Israeli Arabs to shop in the West Bank to help its economy, and removed scores of checkpoints and obstacles that limited mobility and economic activity there. The burst of Palestinian economic progress in the last several years, with growth rates far exceeding our own or Israel’s, must be attributed in part to Netanyahu’s policies.
* * *
Bill Clinton discussed Mideast peace prospects with a group of bloggers, blaming Netanyahu for blocking peace and — essentially — Israeli society for electing him. A real case of post-Camp David II woulda-coulda-shoulda.
Foreign Policy writes:
He said there are two main reasons for the lack of a comprehensive peace today: 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 . . . .
“[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.
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.
The ex-president goes on to break down Israeli society by the degrees of which they support peace, but there’s a more obvious explanation for the Israeli shift to the right.
Arafat launched a murderous intifada that killed, injured, and traumatized thousands of Israelis, and crippled the nation’s left wing. ‘Nuff said.
I also have a bone to pick with the word drift.
I don’t know if that’s Clinton’s or FP’s word, but “drift” implies a nonjudgmental movement calmly happening almost by itself. Driftwood floats wherever the current carries it. But Israelis are anything but a people who leave decisions to however the wind blows.
Israelis never drifted away from peace, they got fed up with suicide bombs. Do you catch my drift?