Bill Clinton har uttalt at russiske innvandrere har en mentalitet som gjør at de motsetter seg en fredsavtale mellom Israel og palestinerne. Clinton viste til at Natan Sharanskij var den eneste statsråden som avviste hans fredsforslag på Camp David.

Sharanskij avviser Clintons fremstilling. I Israel reagerer man på Clintons stereotype fremstilling av russere.

«An increasing number of the young people in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem,» Clinton told a roundtable with press in New York. «It’s a different Israel. Sixteen percent of Israelis speak Russian.»

Foreign Policy magazine quoted Clinton as saying that Russian immigrants are the Israelis least interested in a peace deal with Palestinians. «They’ve just got there, it’s their country, they’ve made a commitment to the future there,» Clinton said. «They can’t imagine any historical or other claims that would justify dividing it.»

The magazine said that Clinton also mentioned a conversation with former Soviet dissident turned Knesset member Natan Sharansky, who, according to Clinton, was the only Israeli minister to reject the comprehensive peace agreement the former president proposed at the Camp David Summit in 2000.

Men Sharanskij sier samtalen med Clinton aldri fant sted. Derimot snakket de sammen på Wye-plantasjen flere år tidligere.

“However, as to the basic facts, I was never at Camp David and never had the opportunity to discuss the negotiations there with President Clinton. It may be that he had in mind our conversations at Wye Plantation years before, where I expressed my serious doubts, given the dictatorial nature of the PA regime, whether Mr. Arafat would be willing to bring freedom to his people, an essential element of a sustainable peace,» said Sharansky.

«History has shown that these concerns were justified. If the reports of President Clinton’s comments are accurate, I am particularly disappointed by the president’s casual use of inappropriate stereotypes about Israelis, dividing their views on peace based on ethnic origins. I must add that these are uncharacteristic comments from a man who has always been a sensitive and thoughtful listener and conversation partner,» said Saransky.

Yisrael Beitenu, the ultra-right wing party comprised mainly of Russian migrants, condemned Clinton’s statement Wednesday.

The party released a statement criticizing Clinton for meddling in Israel’s internal affairs and for his «crude generalizations».


Bill Clinton’s ‘Russian immigrants are obstacle to peace’ comment draws fire in Israel

Former U.S. President tells press that Russian immigrants and settlers are those least interested in peace in Israel.