- Text smaller
- Text bigger
First lady Hillary Clinton’s call for a Palestinian state was no
mistake. It was not a casual remark. Indeed, her statement is right in line
with the foreign policy goals of the Clinton administration.
All you have to do is listen to the official line emanating from the
White House and State Department to understand that Clinton is no friend of
Israel. All you have to do is watch their actions. Mrs. Clinton, the
administration’s semi-official liaison with the international radical left,
knew what she was saying — and so did her husband.
What exactly did she say?
“It would be in the long-term interests of peace in the Middle East for
there to be a state of Palestine … a functioning modern state that is on
the same footing as other states,” she told Arab and Israeli teen-agers
attending a youth conference on Mideast peace.
Marsha Berry, Hillary’s spokeswoman, later put out a statement saying,
“these remarks are her own personal view. The administration position on
this matter has not changed.”
But what is the administration position? That’s the real question.
George Stephanopoulos, a long-time aide to the president, was defending
Mrs. Clinton’s statement on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. Though State
Department and White House officials have tried to distance themselves from
her remarks, they haven’t been at all clear on how administration policy
differs from Mrs. Clinton’s position.
This is the trouble with the Oslo Accords that set this process in
motion. The world seems convinced that the Mideast is marching inevitably
toward the creation of a Palestinian state, even though the agreements make
no such stipulation. Israel, a small sliver of land amid a sea of hostile
neighbors, therefore, finds itself between a rock and a hard place.
Having fulfilled all of its obligations under the accords, Israel waits
for reciprocation from the Palestine Authority. Yasser Arafat has failed to
comply with four major provisions:
he refuses to complete the revision of the PLO covenant which calls for
he refuses to fight terrorism and prevent violence against Israeli
he refuses to reduce the size of the Palestinian police force to be in
compliance with the Oslo Accords;
he refuses to refrain from setting up governmental activity in areas not
yet under PA control.
Why does so much of the world, including the administration, continue to
side with the Arabs in a dispute in which Israel is constantly giving up
territory and getting nothing in return?
I believe the answer is both historical and spiritual. The Arab-Israeli
conflict today revolves around the issue of “Palestinian land.” That was
not always the case. Prior to 1967, when all of the lands in question were
under Arab control, there was no movement to create a Palestinian state.
The answer is that Palestine had never been more than an invention of
imperial powers. So-called “Palestinians” spoke Arabic, they didn’t speak
Palestinian. Palestine was first created by the Romans when they destroyed
Israel in 70 AD. It was just a name they came up with in an effort to wipe
out the historical memory of what had preceded. There has never been an
independent Palestinian state since. Arabs have always lived there. Jews
have always lived there. But only the Jews can claim the area as a
historical homeland. The area was long under the control of the Ottoman
Empire, until the British liberated it during World War I. It was the
British who led the way in re-establishing Israel as an independent Jewish
But the conflict between Jews and Arabs goes back much further than
Ancient Rome. In fact, this is a blood feud that began in the tents of
Abraham — a rivalry between his sons Isaac and Ishmael. The Bible
predicted this conflict, just as it foretold the resurrection of the state
of Israel after a long period of Diaspora.
Arabs today use the “Palestinian issue” as an excuse for its hostility
with Israel. When Arabs had the power to create a Palestinian state, they
never even discussed the possibility.
Modernists and secularists like Hillary Clinton will never be able to
comprehend the spiritual and historical dimensions of this struggle.
Therefore, they will continue to come up with simple, materialistic
solutions for a problem much deeper than real estate.
This will disappoint President Clinton, but the Mideast dispute is not a
foreign policy matter over which the United States has any control.
However, Americans would be well-advised to study their Bibles before they
choose sides in a debate that nearly always threatens to draw the entire
world into war.