The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship

A brief history for those who are interested:

According to The Washington Institute of Near East Policy in 1998:

"Ever since Benjamin Netanyahu's narrow May, 1996, election as prime minister, relations between Washington and Jerusalem have soured. Whereas Bill Clinton and the late Yitzhak Rabin had an unusually warm friendship, ties between Clinton and Netanyahu started out cool and went downhill from there."

"Some reasons are simple, such as the fact that each supported the other's political opponent, with Clinton campaigning for Labor's Shimon Peres and Netanyahu building close ties with congressional Republicans. They also disagree on policy, with Clinton keen to press on with the Oslo Accords as Rabin's legacy while Netanyahu believes that Oslo spells danger for the Jewish state. And given their remarkable similarity in personal strengths and weaknesses, the clashes might even be traced to that law of physics: "likes repel."

As it has been pointed out today, a reporter had to ask for Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton to shake hands, being this her first trip as Secretary of State. I found this odd in the fact it is well known that the Clintons and Netanyahu have strained relations stemming from their first encounters of the late 1990's.

The true test will now be how Hillary Clinton will manage Netanyahu and restarting talks with Israel and Hamas. The points of the negotiations will be that of stopping Israeals attacks into the Gaza strip and bringing Hamas to the table. The tensions are still there, but it is Hillary now and not Bill.

How will talks transpire now that a Clinton is in charge of foreign policy in a post-Bush world?

The history should be known because it may protend on how Netanyahu will treat the Secretary of State, but then again, who will be in charge of the new Israeli government?

Your thoughts?

Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton (all tags)



hoping for another election...

with a different outcome so that this relationship becomes meaningless. its possible.

by canadian gal 2009-03-03 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship

At her core, Hillary is Pro-Israel. At her core, Hillary will always put Politics aside and do what is best for the PEOPLE. For the U.S., for the Israelis, for the Palestinians - because at her core, Hillary is always about fighting for the little guy, for Human rights.

Her distaste for right wing politics is of no shock to anyone. She took the SoS job to pursue human rights policies in my opinion.

Netanyahu makes it harder for her, but he's an obstacle that simply means a 2 state solution may have to wait or may be more difficult to achieve over the next few years.

But the real point is that with Clinton (Obama) there is a chance that both sides, instead of only one side, can be heard. The fact that Clinton/Obama is holding out an olive branch to the Palestinian people (finally)- WITH CONDITIONS - is a positive thing and does not mean that she has forsaken Israel, it simply means that maybe there is another way to try and get the two sides to at least TALK.

by nikkid 2009-03-03 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship

Just some quickies:

" what is best for the PEOPLE. For the U.S.. Voting for the Iraq war without even bother reading the NIE?

"fighting for the little guy, for Human rights" Her recent China visit?

Please, please write some backup material instead of writing a love letter that just doesn't project reality.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2009-03-04 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship

she did not vote for the Iraq war, she voted as did the majority of democrats in the senate back then to authorize the president to go to war if necessary. NOT the same thing.

HELLOOOOOO where the hell were you in the 90's the woman gave a massive 'women's rights are human rights' speech IN CHINA - did you forget.

as usual the left-wingnuts of huff po like to take her words and make it seem like she doesn't care about human rights. it's BS and you know it....

by nikkid 2009-03-04 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship

a) a Majority of Democrats did not vote for the war, but yes she was part of the hawkish band of Democrats who we itching for war from the beginning [code pink ladies will vouch for that].  Plus, regardless if she thought there was a chance Bush migh not have gone to war [ha], which I have no doubt she knew -- she should have AT LEAST read the NIE.  The woman is a neocon.  Brain turned to mush by listening to AIPAC to long.

So, are you trying to say people don't change over a 10 year period?  People do change, and politicans are reknown for their rebirths.  A speech is a speech == you need to get into this century -- she's not the Hills of the 90's standing by her man now.

I really don't want to re-hash the primaries, but really if you like and 'trust' her that much you are gonna have to provide more evidence to prove to me she is 'now' a crusader of peace, human rights, and a decent even-handed honest broker.

I really really don't trust her -- sorry.  And I would really like to be proved wrong.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2009-03-04 04:18PM | 0 recs
I'm glad my fears about Clinton as SoS

were unfounded in reality.  Rather ironic--in a sense--that she was his best and least problematic choice of all cabinet nominees.

by Geekesque 2009-03-04 05:02AM | 0 recs
Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

Check this article in today's Haaretz: 546.html

She's calling for a cessation of demolitions in East Jerusalem and is not buying Netanyuahu's attempt to obfuscate by separating economic progress from political settlement.  They're inseparable.  Here's basically how it's going:

BN: Let's just give them money and infrastructure without enfranchisement and self-determination.

HRC: No.  That's stupid.  Not buying it.  Won't work, and I think you know it.  Otherwise you're a total idiot suffering clinical delusions.  Two states.  Let's go.  And stop destroying their property now.

BN: Look everyone, we agree on so many things.

The question is will Obama and Clinton hold the line?  Netanyahu will not fold easily.  And we have no idea how this will effect the Israeli electorate.  How will Obama/Clinton back this up?

by Strummerson 2009-03-04 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

Finally, we have liberal Democrats acting like liberal Democrats. Who isn't impressed by Obama's leadership to date?

Yes, it is wrong to demolish people's homes because Israel's occupation forces would not give them a permit to build on their own lands. What other people have had to endure a military occupation, whose only purpose it is to take their homes, their farmlands and orchards, i.e., ethnic cleansing, for over 40 years. If these homwowners were Israelis even recent Jewish immigrants from America, they would be subsidized in settlements that surround these Palestinian enclaves.

How could the US condone such practices except to undermine its own civil and human rights laws? Bravo, Hillary.

by MainStreet 2009-03-04 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

Actually, I hate to complicate things for you, but  a Jewish Israeli friend of mine started building a small house on land he owned (within the green line) by himself after getting of tired of waiting for a permit.  They knocked it down pretty damn quick.  Different political context, indeed.  But it shows the danger of pushing your oversimplified perspective too far.

Glad we agree about Clinton though, and what needs to happen going forward.

by Strummerson 2009-03-04 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

I think the "within the green line" part of your story kind of misses the point.  Within the green line Israel acts more or less like any other country - they're not trying to hurry development inside the green line to extend political control within Israel proper.  They already have it.  There's no active settlement policy inside the green line either.

It's like when the US in its turn was busy massacring it's native population and rushing out to squat on their land so that you wouldn't have the army have to do all the heavy lifting, things like the Northwest Ordinance applied to, well, the Northwest.  You didn't have squatters rights in downtown Manhattan.  No need - that was already completely under government control.

by Jess81 2009-03-04 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

Pardon me, but I gotta ask here.  Have you spent any time with or read any perspectives of Arab communities in the Galilee or around Umm al-Fahem?  I think many would disagree.  Land confiscations still occur and the distribution of resources is compromised at best.  Addressing these very issues, that are less severe but more in degree than kind, is one of the Hadash party's major planks.

by Strummerson 2009-03-04 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here


Close to a half million Israelis are now living in homes in the Palestinian territories, and as far as I can tell, the builders of those homes had no difficulty getting permits to build or sell them, in spite of the fact that they are routinely built on Palestinian lands. In the meantime, Palestinians wanting to build on their own land, land they own, have their homes demolished because they can't get permits FROM THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS RULED THEM FOR 40 YEARS.

A recent 60 Minutes episode (Bob Simon) actually showed a group of settlers having their cheaply constructed addition demolished by the occupying IDF. I got a kick out of seeing that because it was an obvious demonstration project intended to who, pretend, that the IDF treat everyone equally.

Please look up the Israel Committee Against House Demolition, which now has a USA branch, and sort get to understand the reality about the permit ploy.

When you hear that the IDF occupying the Palestinians does something nice for them, I would tend to believe you are listening to propaganda.

Still I will take your statements into consideration.

by MainStreet 2009-03-04 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

The only propaganda I "listen" to is in your posts.  Yes.  Indeed.  A Jewish Israeli I know built a house on land he owned without a permit and it was razed.  I've seen the Simon piece.  I've read copious amounts.  A conversation with a friend is NOT propaganda.  And my friends don't engage in it.  The person in question happens to be quite left wing.

For freaks sake MS, STOP posting as if you are the only one who knows anything about I/P.  And suggesting that anything that doesn't fit one's read of a situation is propaganda indicates a tenuous hold on reality.  

I presented you with an instance that doesn't agree with your simplistic characterization as a caution and you launch another condescending tirade where you berate me with facts I am familiar with, probably a good deal more than you know, and did not and do not contest.

In several languages we associate similar behavior with a concept called "a shmuck."

To answer your question: Yes. Really.  Now settle down.

by Strummerson 2009-03-04 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

I didn't mean to chuckle here, but I did.

"I presented you with an instance that doesn't agree with your simplistic characterization as a caution and you launch another condescending tirade where you berate me with facts I am familiar with, probably a good deal more than you know, and did not and do not contest.

In several languages we associate similar behavior with a concept called "a shmuck."

To answer your question: Yes. Really.  Now settle down."

I did not mean to demean you, but there are instances of everything, none of which prove the point. I am not a propagandist. I only quote people I believe are experienced and knowledgable. I personal experience with a single individual is not, I'm afraid, a generalization. I mentioned people who have been working in the area for decades, and who have collected and published data.

That's all I have to say. A "schmuck" I may be but an honest one.

Still laughing.

by MainStreet 2009-03-04 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

btw, where did I suggest that the military government in the territories is acting benevolently towards Palestinians?  That's not just counter to my 'knowledge' but to my experience.

I apologize for my tone in the previous response.  I didn't read your last line.

I just find it unfortunate that you expend so much energy overstating points that don't require overstatement to someone who stands on the same side of this conflict as you do.  For instance, I happen to be personally acquainted with Jeff Halper and support his efforts and that of his organization.

There's gotta be a better way than alienating allies.

by Strummerson 2009-03-04 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

It's okay for us to argue.

I have a high respect for Jeff Halper who has often been out there on his own. Such individuals are rare in this world of ours.

If I disagree with you on some point, I would not take it personally. Yes, there are events that occur which contradict some general statements, but the generalities, when we are talking about 18,000 of them, sort of tend to make the case.

You called me a propagandist which I disagree with. Jeff Halper is also not a propagandist. If he happens to miss rare occasions when Israeli soldiers knock down a structure put up by the religious settlers, even then I would not call him a propagandist.

by MainStreet 2009-03-04 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Hard to mistake Clinton's perspective here

Let's look at it a different way. Who writes Netanyahu's checks?

by nikkid 2009-03-04 01:53PM | 0 recs

if theres going to be adequate pressure, its going to come from the purse.

I just hope the U.S. applies that pressure on Egypt in order for them to really get involved and use it as a tool to get syria on board.

by sepulvedaj3 2009-03-05 04:29AM | 0 recs
Re: bingo

Or applies the pressure to Egypt to get them to open the Rafah entrance to Gaza in order to stop the starvation and death.

Take that back. I'm certain the US has been consulted and is condoning it on Israel's behalf.

by MainStreet 2009-03-06 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship

My thoughts...

A lot, A lot can happen in 10 years.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2009-03-04 08:48AM | 0 recs


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