Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bill Clinton admits he intervened in Israeli elections in 1996 in attempt to defeat Netanyahu. Clinton's divisive efforts failed but he claims he knew Israel's best interests-Israel National News, Israel tv interview

4/3/18, "Bill Clinton: I helped Shimon Peres run against Netanyahu," Israel National News, Gary Willig

"Former US President Bill Clinton admitted Tuesday that he intervened in the Israeli elections in 1996 to help then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres defeat rival Binyamin Netanyahu.

"It would be fair to say that I tried to help Peres win the elections, and I tried to help him in such a way that I would not be openly involved," Clinton said in an interview with Israel's Channel 10 News.

"I tried to help him, because I thought he was a bigger supporter of the peace process, and I tried to do it in a way that served, in my opinion, Israel's interests, without saying anything about the differences in domestic policy," he added.

Clinton's efforts to help Peres failed as the increase in acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians which followed the signing of the Oslo Accords led Israelis to elect Netanyahu for his first term as Prime Minister.

He described his first meeting with Netanyahu in the White House following the election. "He wanted me to know that he knew that I did not support him, and that he defeated us anyway. He behaved in a manner that is very typical of Bibi, but I understood that he was the leader of the state now, and if I wanted to try to support peace I had to find a way to work with him. I was just embarrassed by the audacity with which he conducted himself, but that's who he is.""...

[Ed. note: It's the exact opposite. Bill Clinton is the one who acted audaciously and should be embarrassed.] 

(continuing): "[Bill] Clinton blamed the current Netanyahu government for the failure to reach a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, despite his own failure to broker a peace deal between former Israeli Prime Miniser Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat. Arafat walked away from the generous peace deal offered by Barak and launched the Second Intifada, in which over 1,000 Israelis were murdered in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks, rather than make peace.

According to Clinton, Israel is not advancing the peace process because it views the Palestinian Authority as a weak party.

"Until Netanyahu returned to serve as prime minister in 2009, the security situation in the West Bank was markedly better due to President Mahmoud Abbas. Now, the coalition that Netanyahu is heading, I think, believes that the Palestinians are too weak to give them trouble, and it seems that security is working. But I still hope that someday, if they succeed in achieving any decent reconciliation, Israel will thrive even more," said Clinton."



In 1996 Netanyahu won by 29,457 votes. Bill Clinton's losing candidate Peres was preferred by 97.5 of Israel's Arab community:

5/31/1996, "Razor-close race awaits absentee count," CNN (AP and Reuters)

"Peres benefited from a high turnout in the Arab community, where 97.5 percent of the voters backed him, according to Channel 1. The overall turnout among Israeli Arabs was 77.1 percent, 7 percent higher than in the 1992 elections. 

Netanyahu hinted that the majority of the Jewish voters had backed him, saying that "a very large part of this people supports us." Ultra-orthodox voters stood solidly behind Netanyahu, giving him 91.2 percent of their support. 

Israel's prime minister is being directly elected this year for the first time, with the 3.9 million eligible voters casting a second ballot for a party in the 120-member Knesset, or parliament."...


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