Earlier in June, the Jewish National Fund and other charities in Jerusalem faced a lot of criticism when news emerged that they were donating $500,000 to fund former U.S. President Bill Clinton to speak at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot for President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday.
Now, what Clinton said at the event was far much interesting than the sum which was donated to his charity William J. Clinton Foundation. Former U.S. President focused towards a ‘two-state’ solution to end the Middle East conflict.
Not only that, Clinton said that it was crucial for Israel to make peace with Palestinians because their population was growing faster than the Israelis. This what he said exactly according to The Times of Israel, “No matter how many settlers you put out there [in the West Bank], the Palestinians are having more babies than the Israelis as a whole.”
He further said, “If you don’t have a vision of where you want to wind up. Bad things are going to happen sooner or later… You have a better chance if you are driven by a vision of peace and reconciliation.”
Now the speech was much more elaborated but these two points were probably the most controversial of all. Firstly, Palestinians will not appreciate the way Clinton discussed their population growth. It will perhaps cement their theories that Jews do not want ‘more’ of them around their state.
Secondly, Israelis will definitely not approve of the notion that their state’s survival depends on making peace with their enemies. Clinton has put it in a way that there is no other alternative to Israel’s existence.
It seems Bill Clinton has offended both Jews and Israelis with this $500,000 speech. How the world reacts to it in general still remains to be seen.