The meeting between President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House was an effort to restart peace talks that had been stalled for a year. Clinton’s hope? That Netanyahu would retreat, even a little, from the West Bank.
The date - January 20, 1998. The next day the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. Faced with reporters, Clinton adamantly denied that anything had happened between him and the White House intern -- “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
Two days later, on January 22, Clinton welcomed PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to the White House, and through a public press conference, both men exerted pressure on Netanyahu for concessions. That same day, Clinton again had to fend off questions from media about Lewinsky. By the next day, he was attempting to reassure his Cabinet that nothing inappropriate had happened.
It was too little, too late. Several key people close to Clinton, including his personal secretary, were being subpoened to appear before a grand jury. And Lewinsky was already in negotiations for a possible immunity agreement. Unlike Nixon, evidence damning to Bill Clinton wasn’t caught on tape but on a blue dress. The gig was up -- everybody knew then he had been lying.
The ensuing fallout and ugly consequences stained the rest of Bill Clinton’s presidency. He was impeached by the House for perjury and obstruction of justice, but the Senate fell short of votes to have him removed from office. Furthermore, Clinton, who had had a law license, was disbarred from arguing any cases before the Supreme Court, even though it was unlikely he would ever have found himself doing so.
Fast forward to a city in Egypt founded by Alexander the Great, c331 B.C.
The whole sordid affair was thrown in Bill Clinton’s wife’s face yesterday, along with tomatoes and dirty shoes. Egyptians took to the streets of Alexandria to taunt Hilary Clinton with chants of “Monica, Monica.”
Our Secretary of State was in Egypt to attempt to put a good face on a bad situation -- Islamists that hate Israel, passionately, have come to power. The new ruling powers’ intentions, like those dirty shoes, don’t smell so good. Obama sending Hilary over there was an attempt to look, what? gracious? professional? in control? supportive? (Good grief -- the Egyptian president reportedly wouldn't even shake her hand!)
More importantly, what does the visit look like to our important ally Israel?
Leaving Alexandria Clinton went to Jerusalem with exactly the same intentions for Mr. Netanyahu that her husband had fourteen years earlier -- to restart a stalled peace process.
“ . . . officials in Jerusalem said Clinton is pressuring the Israeli government to offer a new package of incentives to entice Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table . . . “ --Clinton warns Iran during Israel visit
Once again, the US, this time via the Obama administration, is putting the onus back on Mr. Netanyahu to come up with reasons to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Never, ever, ever, ever are the Palestinians ever held responsible for their recalcitrance. And with Obama, they never will be.
I’ve noted on this blog many times that the very day or within 48 hours of the US pressuring Israel concerning the peace process or, more recently, when this administration has engaged in talks with Iran, something has happened. Sometimes it’s weather related, or stock market related, or sometimes it is more personal.
For instance, in the personal category, whenever the Obama administration has engaged in talks with Iran over their nuclear program, Obama’s birth certificate has been in the news.
That’s why I find this particular incident with Hilary so interesting -- the chanting taunt of “Monica, Monica” -- because Monica is a sign, a sign of ruin. Monica is about secret sexual indiscretion and marital infidelity and lying and perjury and scandal and impeachment and disbarment, and this incident was reported on the eve of a press conference to be given today by Sheriff Joe Arpaio about Obama's birth certificate, and he is promising that the information will be "shocking".
That remains to be seen, how "shocking" the information actually is, but one thing is for sure -- shocking information could prove to be scandalous.
The Lewinsky scandal broke to reporters the day after Bill Clinton tried to restart a stalled peace process. Strange, huh? That we have something very similar the next day here as well after another Clinton tries to restart a stalled peace process.
“They” say history repeats itself. Yesterday’s redoux -- a Clinton, Mr. Netanyahu, a stalled peace process, Monica (i.e. scandal, ruin) brought up again -- does seem to be an odd entry in that category.
By the way, Hilary said she wasn’t offended by the Egyptian protestors.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. --Genesis 12:3