web analytics
May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

That Old-Time Clintonian ‘Engagement’


Media-Monitor-logo

Media coverage of the fighting between Israel and Hizbullah has gone largely as expected – CNN, The New York Times and other liberal outlets see events largely through a prism of Lebanese civilian casualties, while Fox News, the New York Sun and other conservative organs present a broader picture of Hizbullah provocations and the suffering of civilians on both sides.

The Monitor will single out some journalists and pundits for comment in next week’s column. This week, with much of the liberal media – and just about every elected Democrat not from New York – engaged in full-throated pleading for a return to the “engagement” and endless negotiations that marked the Clinton years, it seemed like a good time to reflect for a moment or two on the Golden Age of Clintonian Moral Equivalence in U.S. foreign policy.

“If you think that what’s going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control,” said Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, “it wouldn’t….We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together…the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Leaving aside the question of how anyone in his right mind (well, we are talking about Howard Dean, after all) could include the words “moral authority” and “Bill Clinton” in the same sentence, what, exactly, did Clinton accomplish with his much vaunted bringing together of Israelis and Palestinians? Was there peace – or anything remotely approaching it – when Clinton left office?

The “engagement” that liberals and media types remember with such fondness and castigate President Bush for turning his back on did nothing but embolden Yasir Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

It was “engagement” that led U.S. officials to ignore Arafat’s repeated assurances to his followers that Oslo was but a ruse to weaken Israel; and President Clinton to interfere on behalf of the Labor party in not one, but two Israeli elections, dispatching his political strategists to help Shimon Peres in 1996 and Ehud Barak in 1999; and the White House to extend to Arafat treatment usually accorded heads of legitimate countries.

Does anyone really wish to bring back the bad old days of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright desperately chasing after a recalcitrant Arafat in a Paris chateau? Remember the embarrassing incident? It was the first week of October 2000, a few days after the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada, and Albright, Barak and Arafat were close to hammering out an agreement to end the fighting. Arafat suddenly stormed out of the meeting and Albright actually ran after him, imploring him to please come back while shouting out for someone, anyone, to shut the gates before her elusive prey could get away.

Do we really need to relive Bill Clinton’s shameful 1998 trip to Gaza? It was there, as Yossef Bodansky writes in The High Cost of Peace: How Washington’s Middle East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism, that “Clinton’s true sense of the dynamics of the Middle East was revealed when he publicly equated Palestinian terrorists and Israeli victims of terrorism.”

For those with short memories, here’s what the “fully engaged” Clinton said to a group of Palestinian VIPs:

“I’ve had two profoundly emotional experiences in the last less than 24 hours. I was with Chairman Arafat, and four little children came to see me whose fathers are in Israeli prisons. Last night, I met some little children whose fathers had been killed in conflict with Palestinians, at the dinner that Prime Minister Netanyahu held for me. Those children brought tears to my eyes. We have to find a way for both sets of children to get their lives back and to go forward….If I had met them in reverse order I would not have known which ones were Israeli and which Palestinian. If they had all been lined up in a row and I had seen their tears, I could not tell whose father was dead and whose father was in prison, or what the story of their lives were, making up the grief that they bore.”

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “That Old-Time Clintonian ‘Engagement’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A Gaza building, reportedly used by Hamas, destroyed by the IDF on August 26, 2014.
NGO Monitor: Negative Testimony from ‘Breaking the Silence’ Meets Quota for Grant Makers
Latest Indepth Stories
Discovery of Jewish artifacts at base of Temple Mount
dating to period before creation of Islam

Israel promotes coexistence and peace, providing freedom for all religions on the Temple Mount.

Dollars

The Jewish vote won’t impact polls as much as it will the coffers of candidates and their Super PACs

The Maersk Tigris

Iran stands unopposed by the “international community” and is racing to assert regional dominance.

Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against  police brutality and alleged racism.

If some Israeli cops got a Jewish education & learned to love Jews, Israel would be a better place

No where in the world is there the level of intervention by foreign countries as exists in Israel.

The Ravens’ Ray Lewis screamed that violence is never the answer.” Unfortunately, he is wrong.

Obama is the latest incarnation of our ancient enemies who arise every generation with a new face

Why do Jews, then, sometimes feel more intensely about Polish anti-Semitism than they do about German anti-Semitism?

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

Jews thank Hashem at every step. We thank Him for our most basic physical existence. We thank Hashem for every step, for every breath, for every aspect of our elevation from the dust.

Jewish settlement of the land and the resulting employment opportunities drew the Arabs to Palestine

Mon. May 11, 2015@5 PM, history’s largest Shofar blowing will occur outside the UJA-Fed. Building

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/that-old-time-clintonian-engagement/2006/07/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: