Former President Bill Clinton was in Israel on Monday to help kick off the celebration of Israeli President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday. During Clinton’s speech at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot, he did not pull any punches.
“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,” Clinton said during his address. “You’ve got an existential question to answer.”
Clinton indicated that he sided with Peres’ view of the best way to make peace with Palestinians and that reconciliation was very important.
“I’m like President Peres," Clinton said. "I don’t see any alternative to a Palestinian state ... You’re going to have to share the future. Paint a picture in your mind of the future you want to have and take the logical steps to achieve it.”
He also suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be better off if he did not focus on worst-case-scenario planning.
“Things are going to hell in a handbasket all around you,” Clinton said. “[But] your neighbors are still your neighbors.” He added that there’s little chance for the future “if all you do is prepare for the worst and don’t work for the best … You have a better chance if you are driven by a vision of peace and reconciliation.”
The main birthday celebration for Peres will be held Tuesday, Y Net News reported.
A video of his speech is below: