Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Re: Did Hillary Get the Message?

Jennifer, I fail to see anything encouraging in Hillary Clinton’s recent comments about Arab-Israeli peace. She’s peddling a line identical to, if not worse than, the one we hear from President Obama. She said yesterday:

We’ve been working with the Israelis to deal with the issue of settlements, to ease the living conditions of Palestinians and create circumstances that can lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.  For the last few decades American administrations have held consistent positions on the settlement issue, and while we expect action from Israel, we recognize that these decisions are politically challenging and we know that progress toward peace cannot be the responsibility of the United States or Israel alone.  Ending the conflict requires action on all sides.

The Palestinians have the responsibility to improve and extend the positive actions already taken on security, to act forcefully against incitement and to refrain from any action that would make meaningful negotiations less likely.  And Arab states have a responsibility to support the Palestinian authority with words and deeds, to take steps to improve relations with Israel and to prepare their publics to embrace peace and accept Israel’s place in the region.

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So I say to all sides, sending messages of peace is not enough.  You must also act against the cultures of hate, intolerance and disrespect that perpetuate conflict.

She starts out by defending the indefensible settlement red herring, goes on to praise the Palestinians for improving security conditions, and calls on “all sides” to act against cultures of hate and intolerance. Did someone on her staff go through the speech beforehand and make sure to take out anything that referenced the world as it really is?

What about the perpetual reality that is Palestinian terrorism? The continued rocket attacks? The non-stop campaign of dehumanizing propaganda? The overarching fact that Palestinian leadership wants neither peace nor two states?

The Saudis sold the Obama administration a plan that Obama started showing off proudly in his very first interview as president. Meanwhile, the plan is already dead. Having gotten the new Israeli government to say positive things about a two-state solution, the administration went to the Saudis and got nothing. That’s why, in Cairo, Obama talked about the plan being a mere “start,” and why Hillary is echoing that point now. So what’s left? Surreal rhetoric about cruel settlements and positive Palestinian security steps. On Israel, the administration, Hillary included, is a bust.