Report: Hillary pushed for Middle East peace deal, Obama wasn’t interested

More evidence that we will see no push on Israel/Palestine in a second Obama administration. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy, on the Takeaway on Friday, was asked by John Hockenberry if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed the White House on any issue. Cassidy said:

Well that’s very interesting, John. There was a story out last week presumably leaked by some of the people around Hillary that some time last year she did make an effort to push the White Houee on the Arab Israeli conflict. One of the big gaps in her resume you would say is well, she didn’t do anything about solving the Middle East conflict. She did actually help broker.. a ceasefire in Gaza… That’s an achievement, shouldnt be forgotten, but you know there was no great Obama Hillary peace plan. Now her aides have now leaked that actually she pushed the White House to try and at least get Obama to define what the outlines of such a plan would be, but the White Houe pushed back. That shows, you know, the limits of her power within the administration really.

I don’t know what to make of that report, somehow doubt it. In one of her last media appearances, Clinton offered the usual pabulum.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 40 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Krauss says:

    The report is complete bullshit.

    Hillary is running for office. Her speech at the Saban Center, which showed her craving to the lobby in depths that even Obama didn’t go to, was basically a huge kiss to the far-right Likudniks. Some ‘liberal’. I’m always amused when people think Hillary would have been a better president. She’s more of a centrist than Obama, and she would be a disaster on I/P. Dennis Ross would be back in the administration, of course.

    Kerry might push for peace, but as Mearsheimer likes to say: it’s all for show.
    The Israel lobby will never, ever, allow the kind of meaningful pressure to occur against Israel for there to be a genuine incentive. And within Israel, the settlers are now the mainstream, not a ‘lobby’. Lieberman, Bennett, even Lapid is campaigning from Ariel. It will never happen.

    What they want now is a face-saving gesture. A smokescreen to continue to colonize. They understand it looks bad to the world.
    But that’s a given. What isn’t a given is that Kerry wants to play these games.
    Either he’s stupid, vain or actually knows perfectly well what he is doing, and decides to play along out of pure cynicism.
    I can’t decide which is worse. But it’s possible he’s all of the above!

    • Antidote says:

      “basically a huge kiss to the far-right Likudniks.”

      Since when is political/state ‘diplomacy’ about honesty, or even values? Seriously. FDR blew huge kisses to Stalin, as did Churchill. What does that mean? That they actually believed he was a democrat? Ridiculous. They both had a clear objective: defeat Germany and pacify Europe, let the Soviets do the dying in the ground war, or most of it.

      No one in Washington wants to defeat Israel (whatever for? Israel is no economic rival or trying to be a global power), and ‘shared values’ have always been a matter of construction (and reconstruction, as need be).

    • Hostage says:

      The report is complete bullshit.

      Not the part about Hillary traveling to Egypt to help negotiate the cease fire with Hamas. I noticed reports from several reliable sources about that at the time it happened, and wondered why the US has laws on the books that prevent Abbas from doing the same thing?

  2. American says:

    Humm…for some reason I’m not inclined to believe Hillary did much if any pushing on I/P. She seems to have turned into a true Zio believer or at least a true ‘political ‘ believer in Zio-dom.

    I’d like to be a probe inO’s mind. Some might think Hagel was sign of O’s I/P sentiments but that’s not necessarily true, changing direction of fundamental US policy re military and wars of choice was probably the main part of the Hagel pick.
    O is ignoring I/P…but why?….because he has caved to the Lobby and accepted I-Firstdom is the new America?………or in light of the Lobby ‘ disease in congress has he decided since he can’t buck their I-Firstdom his only way of defeating Isr, I-Firstdom is to let Israel destroy itself and let it be Europe’s and the Arab states problem and whatever happens happens.

    • Hostage says:

      Humm…for some reason I’m not inclined to believe Hillary did much if any pushing on I/P. She seems to have turned into a true Zio believer or at least a true ‘political ‘ believer in Zio-dom.

      No, I was very impressed early-on in the first administration by the fact that Hillary was way out in front of the White House on several issues, like the meaning of the Bush letter to Sharon about the final settlement being based upon the 67 borders plus the subsequent “realities created on the ground”.

      For example:

      U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed on Friday reports that administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush had an understanding under which Israel could keep expanding settlements on the West Bank.

      Dov Weisglass, chief of staff to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in an op-ed piece published this week in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily that the Bush administration had secretly agreed to expanding Jewish settlements on the West Bank within their existing boundaries.

      Speaking to reporters in Washington, Clinton sought to undercut Weisglass’ argument, saying there was no acknowledgment of any such agreement in the official negotiating record between Israel and the Bush administration.

      “There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements. If they did occur, which of course people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the United States government,” Clinton said at a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

      link to haaretz.com

      That’s playing hardball, but Obama completely caved on the issue from one day to the next when Netanyahu threw a fit on his way to give an address to the joint session of Congress. He went from the former US position of the 67 borders with the possibility of minor and mutually agreed rectifications to a position that ruled out the possibility of the 67 borders being adopted at all. He implied the Palestinians would have to “agree” to other territorial settlement instead:

      Now, that is what I said. And it was my reference to the 1967 lines — with mutually agreed swaps — that received the lion’s share of the attention, including just now. And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.

      By definition, it means that the parties themselves -– Israelis and Palestinians -– will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. (Applause.) That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means.

      link to nationaljournal.com

      After that Hillary was just as irritating as the other Zionist cheerleaders in the administration.

      • Erasmus says:

        Re Hostage:
        ” meaning of the Bush letter to Sharon about the final settlement being based upon the 67 borders plus the subsequent “realities created on the ground”. and
        ” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed on Friday reports that administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush had an understanding under which Israel could keep expanding settlements on the West Bank.”

        And here Hillary (and Hostage) is correct. The above mentioned ominous letter dates 25.April 2004.
        And here is a statement of President GW Bush from 26 (?) May 2005 on the issue of settlements as quoted by Ynet, dated 26 May 2005 :

        ….Bush said that both the Palestinians and Israel must live up to their obligations under the so-called “road map” peace process that calls for creation of an independent Palestinian state on lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

        “Israel must continue to take steps toward a peaceful future” and not take steps that contravene road map obligations, Bush said. He said Israel must “remove unauthorized outposts and stop settlement expansions.”

        ….

        link to ynetnews.com

        • Walid says:

          Even more distressing in that 2004 Bush letter recognizing the 67 borders and then some, was Bush negating the Palestinians’ right of return. There was a subsequent Congressional resolution formalizing the contents of the letter. Although the resolution was unbiding, as far as Israel was concerned it was another fact on the ground. Some in the PA now appear to go along with that fact.

      • American says:

        @ Hostage

        Does Hillary as SOS make any policy statements –positive or negative for Isr that aren’t first vetted by the WH ?
        Was her intervention trip to Isr during their latest attack on Gaza at her own suggestion or was she directed by O?
        I don’t know so I’m just asking.

        To quote ‘Vanity Fair’ in 2004 about one of Hillary’s speeches to AIPAC..”she did everything but squat and sh@t turd for the Lobby”..unquote.
        I don’t know if it’s possible to ascertain her or O’s or any politicians ‘true’ beliefs about I/P……or if it even matters ………all that counts is what they do and they have done nothing but ‘enable’ Israel in words and deeds…..as far as the public can see. Every pro Isr statement and every defense of it they make emboldens the US zionist and Israel…that’s the reality.
        If they have done anything under the radar to curtail Israel it hasn’t had any effect. If Hillary engineered the latest Hamas-Is cease fire she didn’t follow up on the ‘agreement’ as we see Isr immediately set about and continues to violate the agreement.

        As for the Bush letter I think that was just a ‘re-stating’ of the long standing “Official policy” of the US that has been in place forever. Lip service to the peace ‘process’. It has had no effect in Isr at all. I don’t see that as ‘hard ball ‘ at all. We all know what the “negotiating and mutual agreed swaps” policy means. It means what it’s always meant–>endless pretense at a settlement while Isr continues to build –the myth of ‘only the two parties can settle it themselves ‘ and if by some miracle a settlement were to ever occur the US representing Isr would make sure Is got the lion’s share of the ‘swaps’.

        They ‘serve’ the Lobby, always have, that’s the reality…their occasional ‘statements’ are meaningless.

        And I don’t know if Hillary’s statement about O has been verified but if she said it I am curious why she said it. Political? Or to give a reason for failure to get anywhere on I/P?

        • Hostage says:

          @ Hostage . . . Does Hillary as SOS make any policy statements –positive or negative for Isr that aren’t first vetted by the WH ?

          Yes. The State Department deals with Israel on a daily basis and it’s usually the State Department Office of the Historian and Near East Section that brief’ the White House on the official negotiating record between Israel and previous administrations regarding memorialized agreements.

          For example, Donald Neff wrote that Menachem Begin told President Carter that the wording of the withdrawal clause in resolution 242 contained a deliberate omission and that it had never been intended to be applicable to the West Bank or Gaza. He claimed that the Johnson administration had provided assurances to Israel that it would be able to retain territory captured in 1967.

          Carter requested the State Department to look into the matter to see if Begin’s story had any merit. The State Department provided the President with a classified study that debunked Begin’s version of events: Nina J. Noring, Office of the Historian, and Walter B. Smith II, Director of the Office of Israeli and Arab-Israeli Affairs, Department of State, “The Withdrawal Clause in UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, Its Legislative History and the Attitudes of the United States and Israel since 1967″, dated February 4, 1978.

          As for the Bush letter I think that was just a ‘re-stating’ of the long standing “Official policy” of the US that has been in place forever.

          No, Israeli officials had been spinning the consequences of the watershed Bush Letter for years, while the White House staff, led by people like Rahm Emanuel or Ari Fleischer, had remained silent or dodged the issue entirely. So Hillary was walking back a lot of the Lobby’s and Israel’s publicity on the subject of the need for Palestinians to accept the realities on the ground.

  3. Blownaway says:

    If anyone is wondering if Hillary is planning to run for President. These are the clues…fear of doing anything

  4. RE – “Report: Hillary pushed for Middle East peace deal, Obama wasn’t interested”

    MY COMMENT: During the next four years, the Israeli-Arab conflict will be Obama’s “Chinatown”. He will do “as little as possible.” Expect to see a heavily camouflaged policy of “benign neglect”.
    “I get burned once, shame on them; I get burned twice, shame on me!”

    FROM THE 1974 FILM CHINATOWN:

    Evelyn Mulwray: “Tell me, Mr. Gittes: Does this often happen to you?”
    Jake Gittes: “Actually, this hasn’t happened to me for a long time.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “When was the last time?”
    Jake Gittes: “Why?”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “It’s an innocent question.”
    Jake Gittes: “In Chinatown.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “What were you doing there?”
    Jake Gittes: “Working for the District Attorney.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “Doing what?”
    Jake Gittes: “As little as possible.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “The District Attorney gives his men advice like that?”
    Jake Gittes: “They do in Chinatown.”

    SOURCE – link to imdb.com

  5. seanmcbride says:

    Greater Israelists (in other words, Zionists) have successfully managed, manipulated, played, hamstrung, undercut, stonewalled, etc. every American administration from Truman through Obama. And their grip on the American government is more powerful now than ever — witness the Hagel hearing/lynching.

    It is likely that future historians will reinterpret many major events in American history, from Truman through Obama, through the lens of pro-Israel political ops and maneuverings, many of them covert.

  6. a blah chick says:

    I’m not buying it, nothing in her behavior or statements, either Secretary of State or New York senator, indicates she cares about I/P issues at all, except to stay in good with the reactionaries. Which makes me wonder why this pronouncement, and why now? Dare I hope that these pseudo-liberal types might actually be feeling some heat?

    • seafoid says:

      link to haaretz.com

      “Netanyahu tells Kerry Israel’s new government will be ‘committed to peace’
      Israeli President Shimon Peres also speaks with the newly confirmed U.S. secretary of state, says that Israel’s election results could lead to a coalition that would advance the peace process with the Palestinians; ”

      Paris Hilton tells Kerry she is committed to chastity

      Kim Kardashian tells Kerry she is committed to modesty.

  7. chris_k says:

    If you’ve been following Hillary’s aides’ leaks over the years, the chances that she was really pushing for a peace plan and pushed back from Obama is somewhere between 0% and 0%. She was continually trying to paint Obama as being anti-AIPAC during the 2008 campaign. She had the endorsement of the most pro-AIPAC Dems. What is this guy even saying? The Secretary of State wants to pin down the Commander in Chief as to where the lines are drawn on his map and didn’t get a response. Getting nothing done on I-P was a team effort.

  8. Walid says:

    With the way she always rooted for Israel, maybe Obama didn’t like the smell of what she was pushing. The Palestinians should be grateful for her failure. That ceasefire she brokered was to get Israel’s chestnuts out of the fire after Hamas’ missiles began falling around TA.

    • Reds says:

      How about this?

      Hillary with the help of say Dennis Ross came to obama and gave them a new “peace plan” and obama looked at it as the Status Quo or maybe even worst a plan that would put the final stake in any deal and say the obama white house rejected it so Hillary’s people leaked this piece.

      The bennie for doing so is it hamstrings the white house as to what it was and gives Hillary and her people the ability to define what the plan was(some would call lie) and she can run on it as well in 2016. The U.S. media will run with it and can be good P.R. for Israel and allow Israel and the U.S. to blame the Palestinians for not taking the new poison pill.

      The Media can even qoute unnamed sources as to why the white house has rejected Hillary Clinton’s great new peace plan” than have something like “Will WH accept Hillary Clinton Peace plan” , Officials say “Mrs Clinton peace plan may restart talks” etc, etc, even getting the republican and democrats to “sic” support it.

      Like “both Republicans and Democrats support Clinton peace plan”

      • chinese box says:

        Hillary Clinton, peacenik.

        I agree that if it happened it must have happened this way. Another instance of doing something just for appearance’s sake.

      • American says:

        @ Reds,

        That sounds like a plausible scenario.

      • Rusty Pipes says:

        This sounds mostly like Hillary’s backers making the most of her last natural moment in the spotlight to spin her legacy for the 2016 race. Even if there is a kernal of truth in it (and that’s a big if), the when, why, who and how of her wanting to “push Netanyahu harder” makes no sense out of context. All evidence points to her long history of being even more hawkishly pro-Israel than Obama. Even if she made remarks at a Saban event in 2010 that the administration’s position is that all settlements are illegal (basically international law), that has been scrubbed from the site. Her worst public statements have been that settlements are “unhelpful.” I doubt that Clinton has been willing to push Netanyahu in any way that would upset the Democrats’ ATM.

  9. seafoid says:

    link to ft.com

    “The problem with Mrs Clinton’s adulatory send-off is that it invites the question of what she has achieved in her four years at the state department.

    Barack Obama, in as near to an endorsement as it is possible from a president only a few days into his second term, described her in a joint interview as “one of the finest secretaries of state we have ever had”.

    The praise also came from abroad. William Hague, the British foreign secretary, flew to Washington to hold a dinner for Mrs Clinton, and arranged a video message for her by members of the cast of Downton Abbey. “There is a wonderful stillness that descends on large halls full of diplomats and foreign ministers the moment Hillary enters the room,” Mr Hague told the dinner.

    But while she has scored high marks for stamina (956,733 air miles clocked up), competence and for winning positive press for her country, there are few of the distinctive accomplishments that defined the legacies of Henry Kissinger or James Baker.

    She leaves office with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process languishing. The engagement with Iran and North Korea that Mr Obama promised has produced no results, while the political reconciliation that might prevent another civil war in Afghanistan remains a distant prospect.

    Syria is in flames, Egypt not far from collapse and Libya, where the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed last year, is flooded with weapons that are destabilising its neighbours.”

  10. flyod says:

    the same hillary that helped usher in the 2nd intifada?

  11. You guys are rebutting the notion that she wanted some sort of process in order to help the Palestinians or even Israelis. That’s not what I read.

    “One of the big gaps in her resume”

    This isn’t about actually doing anything. This is about legacy building, checking off boxes, making herself look better. After all even Bush push forward some sort of peace plan. Of course whatever plan would fail, but the point isn’t that it will help Palestinians or Jews or even give a smokescreen to Jewish colonization. It’s ego boosting and reputation building, pure and simple.

  12. joemowrey says:

    No one seems interested in mentioning that Hillary Clinton, like so many people in our government, should be on trial in the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity, not being bandied about for possible Presidential aspirations. We talk about these monstrous sociopaths who wage war and reek havoc, death and destruction on people all around the globe as if they were normal human beings like you and me. Did you ever see the clip of her chortling about the prospect of bombing Iran? This lady is deeply disturbed.

    We’re having the wrong conversation. It shouldn’t be, “Gee, what’s Hillary up to,” so much as it should be, “What terrible things might Hillary do in the future if we don’t stop her now.”

    But then, that’s just me.

    • Montrealer says:

      Joemowrey, I think you are under the misleading assumption that international law applies the the U­.S – or Israel, for that matter.

      In truth, if a Nuremberg-like tribunal was to be held against the leaders of these countries, a great bunch would be condemmed to death sentence. But the winners write the history, as they say…

      • Hostage says:

        Joemowrey, I think you are under the misleading assumption that international law applies the the U­.S – or Israel, for that matter.

        Afghanistan is a state party to the Rome Statute and Palestine has accepted the Court’s jurisdiction too. Iraq had announced its intention to join the ICC, but the Bush administration blackmailed/threatened the leadership and they backed-down. The good news is that non-member states can accept the Court’s jurisdiction with retroactive effect to July 2002 for any crimes committed on their territory. There isn’t any death penalty as a matter of international law.

  13. Reds says:

    Really doubt it,

    Hench “reportedly leaked by some of the people around Hillary”

    Since Hillary and her supporters have been on a media blitz to show how great she is and the media has gleefully accepted (MSM that is) she has done no wrong. My thinking is that she actually wants people to believe she is part of the peace camp to counter her promotion of aggressive and warlike policies. Her previous appearance at the “Saban Center” should tell us how much she wants peace or what her plans are.

  14. Citizen says:

    Hillary has fully deserved the attacks against her performance, here on this blog. She’s a mediocre ivy league grad–that’s about it. If she had not married Bill, nobody would even be aware of her name. Of course all the daring privileged feminists who graduated college around the time she did, and never made any significant contribution to the new world, still think she is God.

  15. Avi_G. says:

    She did actually help broker.. a ceasefire in Gaza… That’s an achievement, shouldnt be forgotten, but you know there was no great Obama Hillary

    That’s an outright lie.

    It was Egypt’s president Morsi who brokered the ceasefire. Hillary rode in at the last minute and capitalized on it.

    The night before the ceasefire was announced, the US asked Israel to refuse Egypt’s offer, then Hillary went over to Tel-Aviv, allegedly to “convince” the Israelis.

    By noon she was in Cairo capitalizing on a ceasefire she did not broker.

    You see, it was a deal between the US and Israel. The US did not want Morsi to gain legitimacy in the Arab world. They wanted him marginalized because he wasn’t their friendly dictator Mubarak. And Netanyahu didn’t want to see Morsi gaining political capital in the Arab world. So Israel and the US put on this show and Hillary emerged the winner. Quid pro quo.

    • sardelapasti says:

      All that is correct, but let us be a little more precise about why there was a ceasefire: the dingy homemade rockets did it! No damages, but well-calculated to raise the cost of the aggression.

    • Kathleen says:

      Thanks for pointing that out Avi

    • Walid says:

      Avi, you are giving Morsi more credit than he deserves. He cares more about maintaining the peace with Israel than about Palestinians. The negotiations for the ceasefire were mostly American and Morsi was just the front to leave a bit of face-saving space for Hamas. If it wouldn’t have been for the US twisting arms in Egypt after Mubarak fell, Morsi and the rest of the brothers would still be in the cellar. All this American effort of course was to save Israel’s breakdown that was about to happen with the missiles whizzing over Jerusalem and TA. Clinton saved Israel’s ass on that one.

      • Avi_G. says:

        Walid,

        I think it’s far more likely that Morsi had the necessary legitimacy in the eyes of Hamas, than did both Israel and the US. So I disagree with you on that particular point.

        On the whole, however, I don’t see why your view and mine cannot co-exist. In fact, I find them to be complementary. I never claimed that Morsi was a saint. But at the same time, Hillary’s claim that she saved the day is just disingenuous.

        • Walid says:

          Avi, I agree that Hillary didn’t save much. The big winner in the ceasefire was Meshaal. Since then, Hamas’ Doha office opened and he was allowed to travel to Gaza and I read somewhere that he may be in the running to become the next leader of the PA. Looks like several deals were made in that ceasefire.

        • Hostage says:

          I read somewhere that he may be in the running to become the next leader of the PA.

          I’ve also seen several reports concerning Meshaal lining-up campaigns to head-up the re-formed PLO and run for President of Palestine.

  16. Kathleen says:

    The last several weeks Chris Matthews has been promoting a HIlary fest. Nothing but good things to say about her, encouraging her to run in 2016. All of this such a turn around for Chris Matthews since he used to bash the Clinton’s like it was a sporting event for him. During one of his evening Hardball programs he mentioned that Hillary in some ways was not one of the inside inside folks and that many of the standard responsibilities of a Secretary of State had been taken over by others in the Obama administration

  17. pabelmont says:

    Solving the I/P or A/I conflict means nothing unless yiou know whetehr the proposed solving would lead to a “just and lasting peace” or was mere unfair arm-twisting, which has characterized the so-called peace process (“Pee-Pee”).

    Hilary Clinton once kissed Yasir Arafat’s wife and later had to back away. I don’t believe that she or Obama has ever un-learned the lessons of American politics — if you want to get anything (else) done, stay away from Palestine.

  18. chris_k says:

    Notice that right after she got Obama to do the promo interview, she starts stabbing Obama in the back. That is Hillary. Her campaign in 2008 was one of the ugliest episodes in recent political history.