The Clinton and Netanyahu Relationship
by mtg44234, Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:06:36 PM EST
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?