Get real on Palestine, Bill Clinton tells Israel


Former US president Bill Clinton says Israel has no alternative for its longer-term welfare than agreeing to a Palestinian state because of “sheer demographics”. “The question (to) confront is: is it really OK with you if Israel has people in its territory that will never be allowed to vote?” he told Israelis yesterday at a function to celebrate the 90th birthday of President Shimon Peres. “If so, can you say with a straight face that this is a democracy? If you let them vote, can you live with not being a Jewish state?” The comments came as an influential Israeli politician said any two-state solution was dead. Naftali Bennett, the Minister for the Economy, said Israel should annex the majority of the West Bank and not allow a Palestinian state. “The idea a Palestinian state will be formed in the state of Israel has come to a dead end,” he said. “Never was so much time invested in something so pointless. The attempt to establish a Palestinian state is over, this idea is behind us. We have to make a transition from a situation of persuading people that a Palestinian state is inappropriate to thinking about how to conduct ourselves in the future.” Mr Bennett urged Israel to continue its recent growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, officially regarded by Australia as illegal.