Bill Clinton: Israel's Russian Immigrants Are Obstacle to Peace

By Jonathan Lis and Natasha Mozgovaya (Haaretz)

Published September 22, 2010.

Former United States president Bill Clinton on Tuesday told the media that the Russian immigrant population in Israel is an obstacle to peace with Palestinians, sparking a furious response from Israel’s main immigrant party, Yisrael Beiteinu.

“An increasing number of the young people in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem,” Clinton told a roundtable with press in New York. “It’s a different Israel. Sixteen percent of Israelis speak Russian.”

Foreign Policy magazine quoting Clinton as saying that Russian immigrants are least interested in a peace deal with Palestinians among Israelis. “They’ve just got there, it’s their country, they’ve made a commitment to the future there,” Clinton said. “They can’t imagine any historical or other claims that would justify dividing it.”

Read more at haaretz.com



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