Neither Hamas nor Netanyahu can make peace, the former US presidential candidate has said
Both Israelis and Palestinians would need new leadership if they are to make peace with each other, Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.
The former American first lady, senator, secretary of state, and 2016 presidential front-runner was speaking via video link at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
“Hamas is not a partner for any kind of peace or two-state solution,” Clinton told Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait. She added that peace might be achieved by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and whoever ends up in charge of Gaza after the war with Israel.
When asked about Netanyahu’s potential to negotiate a two-state solution, Clinton replied, “I don’t think there is any evidence of that. I think the Israeli people will have to decide about his leadership.”
Clinton also commented on the likelihood of a ceasefire in Gaza, saying that it would “freeze the situation in Hamas’ favor” and is therefore unlikely to be accepted by Israel. Netanyahu might be willing to accept “humanitarian pauses” so that aid could reach the civilians in Gaza and Hamas could release the hostages taken in the October 7 attacks, she added.
According to Clinton, it will be “challenging” for President Joe Biden to get Congress to approve a funding package for both Israel and Ukraine, but possible with “tough negotiations.” The Democrat-majority Senate has blocked the Republican-majority House bill that funded only Israel, insisting on the White House proposal that bundled the two – along with funding for Taiwan and immigration – to the tune of $106 billion.
She spoke for about 25 minutes to an audience that the Straits Times described as “global corporate and government leaders,” gathered at the Capella Singapore hotel for the annual event.
Clinton’s husband Bill was president from 1993 to 2001. She went on to serve two terms in the US Senate and run for president in 2008, losing the primary to Barack Obama. As a consolation prize, Clinton was put in charge of the State Department until 2013, when she retired to run a family foundation – and prepare the second presidential bid. She was considered the odds-on favorite to win in 2016, and blamed WikiLeaks, the FBI, Russia, and “fake news” for losing to Republican challenger Donald Trump.