Today both former president Bill Clinton and President Obama shot their mouths off on Israel. The president, who’s spent two and a half years misreading the entire region, had this gem, as reported by Washington Jewish Week: “The most important thing we can do to stabilize the strategic situation for Israel is if we can actually resolve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis because that’s what feeds so much of the tumult in Egypt. That’s what I think has created the deep tension between Turkey and Israel and Turkey has historically been a friend and ally of Israel. That’s why we think direct negotiations are so critical.”
Ironically, this bit of Palestinian propaganda — all problems would be solved if they had their state — was told to 900 rabbis on a conference call. Do you think they even understood how ignorant the comment was? We’ve spent nearly a year watching the Middle East engulfed by turmoil having nothing to do with the Jewish state, yet he lays the problems at Israel’s door. (Moreover, if he wanted good billing at High Holy day sermons in Reform shuls, he should have talked about global warming.)
Then came the former president. Nearly a year to the day, Bill Clinton, at his annual narcissism festival (the Clinton Global Initiative) gave us some “extraordinary — no, his fantastical, his risible, his marvelously ludicrous — foray into sociology, with the ranking of Israelis’ attitudes toward peace according to their national origins.”
He told us:
The “most pro-peace Jewish Israelis” are the Sabras, who he described as native-born Israelis whose roots there date back millennia, because they have the benefit of historical context. “They can imagine sharing a future.” . . . Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Europe and have been in Israel for one or more generations are the next most supportive of a peace deal, Clinton said. . . . The “swing voters” are what Clinton called the “Moroccans”: North African Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1970s. He described them as right-of-center citizens who nevertheless want normal, stable lives
We got an encore of inanity today. Josh Rogin reports:
“The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question -- and the Netanyahu government has said -- that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank,” Clinton said. . . .
The Netanyahu government has received all of the assurances previous Israeli governments said they wanted but now won’t accept those terms to make peace, Clinton said.
“Now that they have those things, they don’t seem so important to this current Israeli government, partly because it’s a different country,” said Clinton. “In the interim, you’ve had all these immigrants coming in from the former Soviet Union, and they have no history in Israel proper, so the traditional claims of the Palestinians have less weight with them.”
Clinton then repeated his assertions made at last year’s conference that Israeli society can be divided into demographic groups that have various levels of enthusiasm for making peace.
“The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel’s founding,” Clinton said. “The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they’re supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they’re not encumbered by the historical record.”
Some will excuse him. His wife has run the State Department during the most anti-Israel and incompetent foreign policy era in American history. The reflex to blame others must be great. Damn the facts. As Charles Krauthammer wrote in the wake of the blame-a-thon following the flotilla (for which the U.N. essentially exonerated Israel recently), “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.”
The worst part of all this? Apparently no one in Clinton’s presence (was there no Jew or gentile brave enough?) or among the Tikun-Olam- fantatical (“repair the world” morphs into the Obama campaign platform) rabbi-set (what passes for communal leadership) thought to speak up on behalf of those troublesome Jews? Shameful. Yet American Jews will still, I am sure, mostly vote for their beloved Democratic Party in 2012. It seems to have eluded them that theirs is an abusive, one-way relationship.