Palestine – Clinton’s $500,000 Speech Leaves One Speechless…writes David Singer

June 21, 2013 by David Singer
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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.”

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.

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:

”It is not obstinacy to regard the populations of Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza as having greater similarities than differences. The Jordan River is not deep enough to turn into a knife blade serving to cut one piece of territory into three slices. Most of Jordan’s population are Palestinians: the residents of the West Bank are Jordanian citizens and Jordan has distributed tens of thousands of passports to residents in the Gaza Strip. Jordan is therefore an existing State. It has an army. There is therefore no need to set up another State, another army.”

Clinton also spoke movingly of his relationship with assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin:

“the saddest day of my presidency was the day prime minister Rabin lost his life … never a week goes by, even now, that I don’t think of him …”

Clinton had apparently not thought about Rabin’s vision of peace and reconciliation expressed in the Knesset on 5 October 1995 – just a few weeks before his untimely death.

In presenting the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip for ratification – Rabin declared:

“We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states.

In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.

At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel — Muslim, Christian, Druze and others — will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.

We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.”

Alas – the visions of Rabin, Peres and Netanyahu were overtaken by the illusions of Oslo and the Roadmap – turning a backroom deal between Israel and the PLO – engineered by Peres – into a diplomatic nightmare and a political disaster.

Clinton still clings to the wreckage of an outdated and rejected proposal Peres helped revive – the creation of a second Arab state in Palestine for the first time ever in recorded history.

Clinton needs to articulate the earlier credible alternatives expressed by his dear friends and visionary heroes – Peres and Rabin – supported by their political opponent – Netayahu.

Jordan needs to become directly involved in turning their long standing visions into reality – if the Jewish-Arab conflict is to be peacefully resolved.

Indeed many Arab leaders including Yasser Arafat, King Abdullah 1, King Hussein and  Crown Prince Hassan have expressed similar sentiments to Peres, Rabin and Netanyahu.

All the money in the world would not be enough to pay Clinton if he could turn  their combined visions into a permanent agreement.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network`

Comments

11 Responses to “Palestine – Clinton’s $500,000 Speech Leaves One Speechless…writes David Singer”
  1. ben E says:

    The writer doesn’t state why any indigenous people will accept a colonial settler state and the partition of their homeland by colonisers ?The ZIonist project was a colonial project and the writer had no replsy when this was shown in Jabotinsky’s own words.

    • David says:

      Ben E

      1, The Zionist project was legally carried out under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine

      2. The Arabs have never accepted that decision of the League of Nations

      3. Please define who you mean by the use of the term “indigenous population”. You will note the Mandate spoke of the “Non- Jewish communities”in Palestine. Which non-Jewish community are you saying was the indigenous population”

  2. Joe says:

    Dear David
    Keep up the good work
    I have a close connection to Israel. I know virtually nobody there that believes that a two state solution is realistically possible, especially when all the concessions are to be made by Israel. Until we hear that the other side has abandoned the ridiculous ‘right of Return’ demand which never seems to come out in any discussion in these forums, no deal will ever see the light of day. We should also promote the fact of the expulsion of our fellow Jews from Arab countries when Israel was born, who were absorbed into Israel so successfully.
    None of Israel’s Arab adversaries have shown any conciliatory gestures towards Israel and are working actively to delegitimise it and even promote false propaganda that Jews have no historical connection to
    the land of Israel. Are these people suitable neighbours to have? So far , I don’t see it.

  3. Ben David says:

    David,

    It hardly lies in your mouth to speak of any failure of the 2 state solution when you dont appear to have ever supported it yourself.

    You after all support the the rights of WB settlers whose acquisitions have been antithetical to the very notion of a 2 state solution. You support their rights on ground which taken to their logical conclusion would deny the Palestinians of the state they have every entitlement to. Dont want to debate this again but as, I’ve said before, your reasoning re Art80/Mandate etc is plain wrong; it is rejected by every recognised legal expert not to mention every western government (incl the US, Aus, Canada, UK etc).

    You dont accord palestinians the right to any state; believing instead that they must abandon all aspirations of one and become Jordanian citizens, as if they were mere chattels to be assigned to whomever (i doubt very much whether you even regard them as human). You proclaim this week after week, under the pretense of searching for a solution. You are either a relentless propagandist for the right or quite out of touch with reality if you think you idea will ever be acceptable.

    In short, i cannot think of any one less qualified to write these snide pieces criticising the likes of Peres and others who work tirelessly in support of the only rational solution available.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      While David Singer is quite capable, and generous to a fault, to reply all “challenges”, it is obvious that what we are dealing here with ( Ben David ) is a succession of tautologies of this “respondent’s” own making. Ben David , you repeat as a base of your retort what David Singer has said on numerous occasions and, then, as a so called “challenge” ,you regurgitate, in essence chapter and verse what David has already dealt with at length and comprehensively………….
      Just like the entire palestinian farcical claims and disturbing, unsophistaicated rethorical tactics , you embelish non-sense with a redundant phrase.

      Go David, if you must !

    • David says:

      Ben David

      You state:

      ” Dont want to debate this again but as, I’ve said before, your reasoning re Art80/Mandate etc is plain wrong; it is rejected by every recognised legal expert not to mention every western government (incl the US, Aus, Canada, UK etc).

      1. So far as I am aware you have never chosen to debate my reasoning re art 80/Mandate

      2. Please advise any recognized legal expert or any western government who has rejected the art80/Mandate argument and provide the link to their opinion.

      Please don’t try and confuse the issue by quoting opinions dealing with the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      You have made claims regarding article80/Mandate – justify them with names and where their opinions can be located.

      The Levy Report has certainly adopted the argument – as have many legal experts such as Professor Paul Riebenfeld, Howard Grief, Professor Julius Stone, Professor Eugene Rostow and former Chief Justice Schwebel of the International Court of Justice – which reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80 in two cases:
      1. ICJ Advisory Opinion of July 11, 1950: in the “question concerning the International States of South West Africa.”
      2. ICJ Advisory Opinion of June 21, 1971: “When the League of Nations was dissolved, the raison d’etre and original object of these obligations remained. Since their fulfillment did not depend on the existence of the League, they could not be brought to an end merely because the supervisory organ had ceased to exist. … The International Court of Justice has consistently recognized that the Mandate survived the demise of the League [of Nations].”

      Attacking the messenger and ignoring the message is a waste of time and so are your vague and unsubstantiated generalisations without any evidence to back up your claims

      After twenty years of negotiations conducted under Oslo, the Bush Roadmap and Annapolis – it is clear that the parties are as far apart as ever.

      Failure to resume negotiations without preconditions for the last three years confirms my view.

      The resumption of negotiations – even it was to miraculously occur – would be a waste of time for the following reasons I have articulated on so many occasions in my articles:

      1. Israel requires the Palestinian State to be demilitarised, Israel recognized as the Jewish state and national home of the Jewish people and will not cede its territorial claims to 100% of the West Bank

      2. The PLO requires Israel to withdraw to the 1967 armistice lines requiring 500000 Jews to pack up and leave their current houses in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and demands that Israel permit millions of Arabs to emigrate to Israel.

      Neither party is going to seriously compromise enough on its demands for any peace agreement to be signed.

      The only remaining option to advance peace between Jews and Arabs in my opinion is direct negotiations between Israel and Jordan to redraw the existing boundary between their respective states to restore as far as possible the status quo that existed at 5 June 1967 – after taking into account the changed circumstances on the ground since then.

      The real advantage such negotiations would have over the current stalled negotiations is that they would take place within the context of the signed peace agreement between Israel and Jordan in 1994 which sets out negotiating parameters for resolving such contentious issues as refugees, water and Jerusalem.

      The sooner such negotiations begin – the better.

      • David says:

        Ben David

        Why the sudden silence? Still waiting for you to particularise names of legal experts and western countries who reject the article 80/mandate argument.

        Editor – could you please alert Ben David to my request – in case he has gone missing in inaction.

        The same thing seems to have happened to another of your correspondents – Anne Fink.

        When confronted with facts – they run for cover.

        To your credit you are ready to publish all responses.

        Here is a small scoop for you – web sites such as UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk’s and one called Intifada Palestine are refusing to publish posts by me challenging misstatements of fact or opinions expressed on their websites.

        Guess it is easy to dish it out with vague generalized and unsubstantiated allegations – but harder to cop.when they are countered by reasoned and substantiated arguments.

        Either way – refusing to publish or refusing to respond – indicates the true level of intellectual dishonesty that plagues any rational discussion of trying to resolve the Jewish- Arab conflict.

        • Ben David says:

          David,

          I seem to have suffered the same fate as you as J wire havent published my response to you. Have a word with them perhaps.

          I took the time to find you some reading material for you so hopefully it finds its way to you.

  4. Otto Waldmann says:

    Dear Paul

    as usual you are right, yet, I’d suggest the following:
    “The World” is made of quite a few entities. WE have hoi poloi, THE people and then the REAL political entities, some call it class. Class sounds better in as much as it defines a distinct cathegory which functions on its own protocols ans, indeed, principles and even ethics, not to mention levels of pragmatism not really reachable by the “other” class, the mentioned hoi poloi.
    Propaganda of all kinds filters from the political class onto the other ones in a vernacular that, most of the time , obfuscates the real pragmatism negotiated strictly at the political class level.
    Where do you, and indeed David come !
    As fully aware of what I just described, you are trying to inject reason of the universal validity into the rationale of the political class. Needless to say that your – and David’s – constant frustrations that what you utter so brilliantly seems to be by-passed by the fora that really counts, the same politicians we described as distinct from you.
    As a loyal observant of logic, I shall always enjoy your and David’s exploits on these matters, simply because you are dominated by that common sense which DOES keep society disciplined so that the “elite” class of politicians may carry on, in their merry and often un-ethical ways, their affairs.
    Come to think of it, you are well within what I would call the “Chomsky Syndrome”. It means that Chomsky has been right about the American Admin. policies IN SOUTH EAST ASIA STRICTLY without any effect in his desired changes in the US foreign and Pentagon policies. Of course the same Chomsky is badly wrong about the ME and this could be the very destructive effect frustrations of one ignored theory may have had on the frustrated’s mind. His chronic loathing of the entire US political edifice led to him losing part of his mind, re the ME and I mean it.
    Thus, as a honored member of your intellectual class, if I may be as arrogant as claiming, I shall treat with the necessary respect, cynicism and level-mindedness the genuine and vane efforts of those who shall never stop dreaming of a decent world.
    All pro Palestinians are precisely on the other side of the decency fence, taking criminal advantage of the same structural distinctions created and tolerated by the same cabala of politicians.
    Clinton’s and Obama’s forked tongues are splendid examples of this cruel rhetorical dichotomy.

  5. Paul Winter says:

    Well said David, but one minor point: the Palestinian Arabs have not ratified any of the agreements to which Arafat put his signature. While I am not a lawyer as you are, my gut feeling is that none of the documents that grew out of those agreements, Oslo 2 and the Road Map have any validity. The international community is pressuring Israel to comply with its interpretation of Israel’s undertakings, ignoring its conditions for those and all undertakings that the Arabs made all the while pretending that any of the agreements have any basis. The worst aspect of the matter is the the elite genuises of Israeli politics goes along with that cruel charade where the Arabs consistently reject the notion of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Essentially, as I see it, the world wants to get rid of Israel for the sake of cheap oil and a bit of relief from terrorism and screwing the Jews is a small price for the workd to pay.

    • David says:

      Paul

      I agree with your interpretation.

      Oslo,the Roadmap and Annapolis merely set out the parameters under which Israel and the PLO agreed to negotiate.

      Neither side wants to be cast as the party which brought the negotiations – and therefore Oslo, the Roadmap and Annapolis to an end.

      Israel’s patience must be wearing thin at Abbas’s refusal to come back to the negotiating table without preconditions after a three years absence.

      My own view is that Israel should give Abbas 60 days to resume negotiations and make it clear that it will regard Oslo and the Road Map dead and buried if he doesn’t turn up.

      Perhaps nominate a date, time and place and turn up there ready to negotiate. Invite the media to be there for the event.

      The current stand off needs to be ended.

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