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Bill Clinton Talks Two States in Israel

Bubba urges peace at a fête for Shimon Peres

Adam Chandler
June 17, 2013

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani made his first public address today where he mixed slightly conciliatory rhetoric with a pretty defiant declaration that the days of Iran suspending its uranium enrichment were over.

Less than a thousand miles west, many gathered to toast Israeli President Shimon Peres at a gala for the Nextbook author. Among the participants was former President Bill Clinton, who wasted no time in turning the Peres party into the pulpit, by urging a two-state solution. To illustrate his point, he drew on the idea of Israeli democracy, which is threatened by the continued disenfranchisement of Palestinians in the West Bank.

“Is it really okay with you if Israel has a majority of its people living within your territory who are not now, and never will be, allowed to vote? If it is, can you say with a straight face that you’ll be a democracy? If you let them vote, can you live with not being a Jewish state? And if you can’t live with one of those things, then you are left with trying to cobble together some theory of a two-state solution,” he said, with a Palestinian state next to Israel.

The comments came hours after Jewish Home party leader and high-ranking minister Naftali Bennett called the two-state solution “a dead end” during a press conference with the Yesha Council.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.