Wrong to blame Israel for failure to make peace, says Clinton


Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said it is “not accurate or fair or useful” to blame Israel for the lack of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

She also called her commitment to Israel “personal” and took a shot at her potential rival for the presidency, Republican candidate Donald Trump, for his changing positions on the Jewish state.

Speaking to The Jewish Week, a media outlet based in New York - where she is set to stretch her lead in the April 19 primary - the Democratic frontrunner said she had “a long memory” of Palestinian failure in the peace process.

Recalling the Camp David Summit in 2000 which was organised by her husband and former president, she said: “I remember when Yasser Arafat walked away.

“It was one of the most comprehensive efforts.”

Mrs Clinton also criticised Palestinian officials for not taking advantage of the 10-month freeze on settlement-building implemented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November 2009, when she was Secretary of State.

“I regret very much that the Palestinians didn’t take advantage. The Palestinians couldn’t act.”

But she said that she and the current Israeli prime minister “get along well,” even though when it came to the US and Israel, “we need to take the relationship to the next level.”

In a pointed reference to Mr Trump, she said that the US needs a president with “a steady hand, not someone who is neutral [on Israel] on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday because ‘everything is negotiable.’

“Real security is not negotiable.”

She also condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, saying that “demonising Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students, and comparing Israel to South African apartheid is not only wrong - it is dangerous and counterproductive”.

Mrs Clinton added that any rhetoric which “vilifies Israelis has no place in any civilised society.”

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