Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for the inability to reach a peace deal that would end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, the former U.S. president was quoted by Foreign Policy magazine as claiming that Netanyahu lost interest in the peace process as soon as two basic Israelis demands seemed to come into reach: a viable Palestinian leadership and the possibility of normalizing ties with the Arab world.
?The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn?t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu,? Clinton said, adding that Israel wanted ?to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there?s no question ? and the Netanyahu government has said ? that this is the finest Palestinian government they?ve ever had in the West Bank.?
Furthermore, the former U.S. president is quoted by Foreign Policy as saying that Israel was also on the verge of being recognized by Arab nations adding that the ?king of Saudi Arabia started lining up all the Arab countries to say to the Israelis, ?if you work it out with the Palestinians ? we will give you immediately not only recognition but a political, economic, and security partnership.?
?This is huge?. It?s a heck of a deal,? Clinton said, adding: ?That?s what happened. Every American needs to know this. That?s how we got to where we are.?
?The real cynics believe that the Netanyahu?s government?s continued call for negotiations over borders and such means that he?s just not going to give up the West Bank,? he added.
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This story "Report: Bill Clinton Says Bibi To Blame for Impasse" was written by Haaretz.