The last time a Democratic president took on Benjamin Netanyahu…

US Politics
on 49 Comments

My favorite conspiracy theory. A commenter mentioned this some months back.

Monica Lewinsky

From The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, a record of conversations with then-President Bill Clinton, by Taylor Branch.

Chapter 30, “Buddy and Socks”

Wednesday, January 14, 1998:

In his discourse on the Middle East, [Clinton] was nettled from the beginning. Late last year, Prime Minister Netanyahu went on American television to complain that Clinton had “humiliated” the State of Israel by declining to meet when both their airplanes were delayed conveniently on runways at the Los Angeles airport….Clinton balked at another state meeting whose sole purpose was to stall, Netanyahu, having committed to taking concrete steps forward, planned to filibuster yet again with reasons why Israel must wait instead- this time for five months…

Clinton’s temper rose in anticipation of separate audiences next week with Netanyahu and Arafat… Now Netanyahu blocked further withdrawals [from the West Bank]… Bibi would retain full control in more than half the West Bank—60 percent—including a network of roads connecting the Israeli settlements. Clinton said no two-state deal could advance on terms so stingy… The iron logic of occupation [in Gaza] demanded a servile psychology, but it also drove popular support from Arafat toward Hamas…

He said he understood why President Bush and Secretary of State Baker once announced cuts in Israel’s security allotmen That extremity, however, produced spasms of fear and retrenchment in Israel. It made sense only in a package to impose a Middle East settlement from the outside… Leaving Israel’s military assistance intact, the president contemplated his ultimate sanction: public withdrawal from the talks. He said it was not in the interest of the United States to dignify phony negotiations. He refused to sponsor a sham.

I asked whether he would say so to Netanyahu at the White House next week. “That’s what we’re arguing about,” he replied. Short of this, I asked, could he suspend further U.S. contact until Netanyahu delivered smaller steps like the business permits for Gaza?… [S]uch conditions would be a rebuke to Israel for dragging its feet on measures not essential to security. Clinton said his neutrality would be hard to recover…

Chapter 31, “Lewinsky”

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

Stricken, [my wife by telephone] told me to bring in our early Washington Post and turn on the television. Nonstop news revealed the president’s alleged affair with a twenty-four-year-old former White House intern named Monica Lewinsky.

    Leave a Reply