Clinton: Mistake to Demand Israeli Building Freeze

Sunday, June 08, 2014 |  Israel Today Staff

In her newly published memoirs, former US Secretary of State (and possible future presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton acknowledged that it had been a mistake for America to pressure Israel so heavily to halt all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria as a condition for peace talks.

When the Obama Administration was first engaging the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2009, Clinton led the charge insisting that Israel stop building new apartments for Jews in any areas claimed by the Palestinians.

As many predicted at the time, and as Clinton claims she only belatedly realized, the American demands emboldened Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to establish even more hardline positions, such as demanding that the building freeze be extended to Jerusalem.

Israel’s government could not accept Abbas’ exaggerated demands, even had it wanted to do so, and so Abbas was freed to justifiably reject peace talks with Israel, which he did for over two years.

Hillary’s realizations regarding the peace process echo her husband’s remarks following his second term as president. In his 2004 autobiography, former president Bill Clinton appeared to regret strong-arming Israel in the peace process, and ultimately laid the bulk of the blame for the negotiations’ failure on the Palestinian leadership.

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