Friday, 24 September 2010

Bill Clinton Slams the Russian Khazar Jews

Bill Clinton lends a helping hand to wifey

Bill Clinton stirred fury and ridicule in Israel by saying that Jews who immigrated from the former Soviet states are a major obstacle to peace.

Clinton, speaking at a panel discussion of his Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday and first quoted by the website of Foreign Policy magazine, told audience members: "An increasing number of the young people in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem. It's a different Israel. Sixteen percent of Israelis speak Russian."

Portraying Russian youngsters as one of "the hardest core" groups against the division of the Holy Land, Mr Clinton continued: "It's a different Israel. Sixteen per cent of Israelis speak Russian. They've just got here," he told reporters in New York.

That comment suggested to many Israelis that Clinton was simply out of touch, or losing his grip on reality, or perhaps a bit inebriated by the conference festivities, since the major waves of immigration from the FSU came in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Most have been here for decades, and their children by and large were born in Israel.

"It's their country," Clinton said. "They've made a commitment to the future there. They can't imagine any historical or other claims that would justify dividing it."

Clinton's comments were condemned by many in Israel, among them Benjamin Netanyahu, the country's prime minister. "As an old friend of Israel, Clinton surely knows that the immigrants have made a large contribution to the strengthening and development of Israel and the [Israel Defence Forces]," Mr Netanyahu said.

Foreign Policy magazine also quotes Clinton mentioning a conversation with former Soviet dissident turned Knesset member Natan Sharansky, who, according to Clinton, was the only Israeli minister to reject the comprehensive peace agreement the former president proposed at the Camp David Summit in 2000.

"I said, ‘Natan, what is the deal [about not supporting the peace deal],'" Clinton was quoted as saying. "He said, ‘I can't vote for this, I'm Russian... I come from one of the biggest countries in the world to one of the smallest. You want me to cut it in half. No, thank you.'"

Clinton said he replied: "Don't give me this: you came here from a jail cell. It's a lot bigger than your jail cell."

But Sharansky denied Wednesday that such a conversation with Clinton ever took place. “A report of President Clinton's comments has been brought to my attention which I hope is inaccurate. I appreciate President Clinton's commitment to peace and talent for political analysis" he said.

“However, as to the basic facts, I was never at Camp David and never had the opportunity to discuss the negotiations there with President Clinton. It may be that he had in mind our conversations at Wye Plantation years before, where I expressed my serious doubts, given the dictatorial nature of the PA regime, whether Mr. Arafat would be willing to bring freedom to his people, an essential element of a sustainable peace," said Sharansky.

"History has shown that these concerns were justified. If the reports of President Clinton's comments are accurate, I am particularly disappointed by the president's casual use of inappropriate stereotypes about Israelis, dividing their views on peace based on ethnic origins. I must add that these are uncharacteristic comments from a man who has always been a sensitive and thoughtful listener and conversation partner," said Sharansky.

Clinton in his remarks went on to say that Sharansky "was nice about it, a lot of them aren't," referring to Russian immigrant's attitudes toward land for peace proposals. He may have had in mind the
Israel Beiteinu party led by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister. The party, which draws the vast majority of its support from Russian speakers, criticized Mr Clinton for meddling in Israel's internal affairs and dismissed his comments as "crude generalizations".

Yet observers say there is little doubt that the wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union has shifted the Israeli political landscape to the right. The party has criticised the latest round of negotiations with Palestinian leaders.

However, some Russian-speaking Israelis said they saw Clinton's comments as a badge of pride that reflected their patriotism and their eminently justified suspicion towards Palestinians.

But even left-wingers such as Geneva Peace Initiative proponent Yossi Beilin expressed astonishment that Clinton thought the largely secular, well-educated Russian immigrant sector were really less of an obstacle than the more religious Sephardi Jewish population.

Clinton's ignorant and unconstructive comments cast a shadow over his Clinton Global Initiative conference, which he tried to portray as an action-oriented assembly which was intended to avoid the kind of meddlesome palaver that he himself muddled into.

No comments: