Bill Clinton on Hamas Strategy: Get Palestinians Killed, Israel Condemned

Bill Clinton NDTV interveiw, July 2014. Photo: video screen-grab.

Bill Clinton NDTV (India) interview, July 2014. Photo: video screen-grab.

Bill Clinton was interviewed by Indian TV station NDTV this week in India.

He made several astute comments when asked to assess the crisis between Hamas and Israel.

 

‣ “Well, first of all Hamas was perfectly well aware of what would happen if they started raining rockets in Israel.  They fired a thousand of them.  And they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own [Palestinian] civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.”

‣ “They [Israel] have a defense system against such missile attacks, the so-called Iron Dome and they haven’t died in great numbers yet, although they certainly could have.  It’s a miracle to me that they [Hamas] fired 1000 rockets in there and more people weren’t killed.  So they [Israel] know when Hamas attacks them that Hamas has set up a situation, which politically can’t lose, because they [Israel] can say well, if I attack them back, they always hide behind civilians, and I’ll kill civilians; and if I don’t, we’ll look like fools letting somebody shoot a 1000 rockets at us and not responding.”

‣ ” . . . when Hillary [Clinton] was Secretary of State, she helped secure an agreement, the only time Israel ever agreed to freeze settlements as a part of talks, they never had before. So they agreed to a nine-month freeze, and during the whole time the Palestinians didn’t want to talk to them.  And three weeks before the freeze expires, they say give us another nine months and we’ll talk to you.  That was a big mistake.”

‣ “But in the short and medium term, Hamas can inflict terrible public relations damage on Israel by forcing it to kill Palestinian civilians to counter Hamas.  But it’s a crass strategy that takes all of our eyes off the real objective, which is a peace that gets Israel security and recognition, and a peace that gets the Palestinians their state.”

Full transcript and video.

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