Clinton, others sing the same old 'peace' song at Jerusalem conference

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

A star-studded list of international celebrities and political heavyweights followed up their attendance at Israeli President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday by taking part in the annual President's Conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Dubbed "Facing Tomorrow," the gathering is supposed to be a venue for hashing out new ideas on how to forge a better, more secure society in this region, but most of the presenters seemed stuck in the same old, failed efforts of the past.

Former US President Bill Clinton was the day's most honored guest, receiving from Peres the President's Award, the highest honor that Israel can bestow on a foreigner.

Peres called Clinton himself the "great American dream that has become the hope of us all." Clinton reciprocated by calling Peres a champion of peace, before telling the rest of Israel that it had no choice but to make peace on Arab terms. "I don't see an alternative to a Palestinian state," said Clinton.

Former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer followed up by further chastising Israel. "Let's say you agree that this is not the time for final status [peace talks], why would you dig yourself into a deeper hole with settlements every single day?" he questioned. "The Arab world is now ready to deal with the state of Israel with certain parameters," Kurtzer continued, sidestepping Israeli concerns that some of those "parameters" are of a suicidal nature.

Former British Prime Minister and tireless Quartet talking head Tony Blair reiterated that "time is running out for Middle East peace." Blair has been saying that for the better part of the last decade.

Israelis also got in on the action, with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan asking incredulously, "Should we wait for Hamas to take over the West Bank" before signing a peace deal?

Dagan, despite supposedly being an intelligent guy, seemed to have forgotten that Hamas only seized control of the Gaza Strip AFTER Israel has surrendered it to full Palestinian control.

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