President Clinton’s admirers have claimed that he has been the most pro-Israel President, ever serving in the White House. However, a proper due-diligence of Clinton’s policy toward Israel reveals that the road to security and political hell could be paved with good intentions.
In 1993 President Clinton embraced the draconian constraints, attached by Secretary of State Baker, to the $10BN loan guarantees extended to Israel. Although he had the prerogative to be more lenient, Clinton chose to deduct over $1BN due to Israeli construction and development in various neighborhoods – defined by his Administration as “settlements” – in Jerusalem.
Since 1993, Clinton has acquiesced to most Arab requests for most advanced military systems, which have threatened Israel’s qualitative military edge, in spite of opposition by Israel and its friends in the US.
In 1993, Clinton exerted a brutal pressure on the late Prime Minister Rabin to allow 400 Hamas terrorists – who were deported to Lebanon – to return to Gaza. The return of the 400 Islamic terrorists ignited an unprecedented wave of terrorism, which engulfed Israel until Spring 1996. In 1993, Clinton accorded Hizballah terrorists US legitimacy. He forced Israel to conclude, with Hizballah, a series of understandings (Operation Accountability) as he would do later in 1996 (Operation Grapes Of Wrath), which bolstered Hizballah, handcuffed the hands of the IDF and made Northern Israel more vulnerable to terrorism.
In 1995 Clinton attempted to torpedo, and succeeded to castrate, the US law to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s Capital, Jerusalem. Last month, he, once again, postponed the implementation of the law, which could have boosted Jerusalem’s international stature as well as its economic and social fortunes.
In 1998, Clinton pressured Congress to cut foreign aid to Israel over and above the ten year voluntary phase-out of the $1.2BN Economic Support Fund. In addition, he attempted to cut the funding of the US-Israel Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Arrow Project. Congress rejected both initiatives. In fact, the US legislators increased the Arrow appropriation. However, Clinton was able to cancel Israel’s multi-billion dollar Falcon transaction with China, undermining Israel’s relations with the US, China and India. Clinton has reneged on his commitments, to Prime Minister Barak, to upgrade US-Israel strategic relations, to supply sophisticated military systems and technologies, and to provide a special financial package in return for Israel’s territorial risky concessions to the PLO and Hizballah. Simultaneously, Clinton undermined Congressional initiatives to stop the transfer of non-conventional Russian technologies to Iran, which has intensified the threat to Israel. He has also diluted assistance to the Iraqi Opposition, at a time when Saddam exacerbates his threats to launch missiles at Israel.
96 Senators and 365 House Members have defied Clinton’s pressure, condemning the PLO for the current wave of anti-Israel terrorism. Moreover, Clinton instructed his ambassador to the UN not to veto the condemnation, of Israel, by the UN Security Council, lest the US be targeted by Islamic terrorism. The latter’s reaction to Clinton’s overt weakness, in face of terrorism, was swift: 17 US sailors killed by a suicidal bombing in Aden on October 12.
Since 1994, the Clinton Administration has misled Congress, certifying that the PLO was supposedly in compliance with the Oslo commitments. Clinton authorized such misrepresentations, in order to undermine Congressional initiatives to precondition further foreign to the PLO upon the extradition of Palestinian terrorists implicated in the murder to Americans, upon an end to PLO-Hamas collaboration, upon an end to PLO incitement against the US, Jews and Israel, and upon full PLO compliance with commitments made to the US. Rather than holding the PLO to its commitments, Clinton granted Arafat more Frequent Visitor points than any other foreign leader, visiting the White House.
Utilizing his rare communications and persuasive skills, and personal charm, President Clinton has squeezed, from Prime Minister Barak, unprecedented concessions in Jerusalem, the entire Judea&Samaria, the whole of the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights, as well as the absorption of a few hundred thousand of the 1948 Palestinian refugees!
Never has a US President offered an ally so many billions of dollars, in order to demote that ally from a strategic asset to a strategic burden. Never has a US President employed scare-tactics so intensely, in order to coerce a loyal ally into dangerous concessions, which would weaken it dramatically, thus tempting the Arabs into a major war. Never has a US President enunciated (e.g. January 7, 2001 speech in NY) a symmetry – which is morally unjust and strategically flawed – between a democratic ally combating terrorism on one hand (Israel), and a corrupt and an oppressive ally of Iraq and Iran, which has harbored Islamic terrorists on the other hand (PLO). Instead of deterring terrorism, Clinton has uniquely weakened the spirit of Israel in its battle against terrorism, rendering the latter a significant victory, which has threatened regional stability and US own interests in the Mideast.
In spite of President Clinton’s affinity toward Jews and Israel, but with the encouragement of his Jewish confidants, and inspired by ALL Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords, Clinton has managed – more than his predecessors at the White House – to erode Israel’s strategic and deterrence posture, to shaken the traditional support for Israel’s cause and security requirements, to impair the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive and indivisible capital, to radicalize Arab expectations, demands and violence, and to crack up Israel’s steadfastness, thus endangering its very survival.